The actor will play a rambunctious version of the beloved Christmas icon

By Dana Rose Falcone
May 09, 2019 03:00 PM
Credit: Brandon Voight/Splash News

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’ll be played by Mel Gibson.

The actor, 63, will take on the role of the man in red in the forthcoming comedy Fatman, which tells the story of a 12-year-old who hires a hitman to kill Santa after the child gets a lump of coal in his stocking. Meanwhile, this rowdy Santa is already down on his luck due to his business decline.

“Mel is the perfect choice as Kris Kringle like we’ve never seen him before,” producer Nadine de Barros said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to watch this darkly comedic Christmas film come to life.”

The film will begin filming in Canada in early 2020.

Fatman joins the slew of upcoming projects Gibson has in the works, including action flick War Pigs, drama Black Files, biographical drama The Professor and the Madman with Natalie Dormer and Sean Penn, and sci-fi thriller Boss Level with Ken Jeong and Naomi Watts.

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The two-time Oscar winner also plans to produce and direct a sequel to 2004’s The Passion of the Christ. The first installment’s Jim Caviezel will reprise his role as Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.

“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel, 50, told USA Today in 2018 of Gibson. “But I’ll tell you this much: The film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”

Gibson most recently appeared in Daddy’s Home 2 and Dragged Across the Concrete.