Billy Bob Thornton To Return as Willie in Bad Santa 2: November 2016

VANCOUVER December 02 2014. Former child actor Brent Kelly is in his 4th year of studying commerce at UBC, Vancouver, December 02 2014. Kelly starred with Billy Bob Thornton in the movie, Bad Santa. Gerry Kahrmann / PNG staff photo) ( For Prov News ) Story by Glen Schaefer 00033367A

Now with 362 days left until next Christmas we should all start planning…for something. How about a sequel to Bad Santa? Believe it. The 2003 cult classic is finally continuing the story of Willie the foul mouthed, alcoholic, dual diagnosis, crook with a heart. Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to reprise the infamous role. Also coming back his sidekick Tony Cox as Marcus and the kid (Thurman Merman) played by Brett Kelly who is now 22.

Filming kicks off next month in Montreal with a new character Willie’s mom played by Kathy Bates.

Even though the film made $76,488,889 worldwide it wasn’t considered a blockbuster hit but since it’s release the movies popularity has exploded. It’s become the classic guilty pleasure for the holidays which says much since it’s as profane as it is sometimes profound.

“We’ve been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob’s Willie Soke mess with the holiday season in his own unique way,” said Zanne Devine, Miramax’s EVP of Film & TV. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Billy Bob, the entire creative and producing team, and Broad Green and Sierra/Affinity to bring back the outrageous humor and characters that made this movie brand iconic in the first place.”

Kelly was only 8 when he started on the project, “When I saw it a couple of years later, a lot of it was still going over my head, but I had more of a grasp on what it was all about,” He told the Vancouver Province, “It was hilarious.”

It does not hurt that he had a close relationship with Thornton off screen as well, “Billy wasn’t some kind of movie personality. He was a pretty normal person to talk to,” Kelly said.

Unfortunately two comic giants will not be returning to the sequel. John Ritter who played Bob Chipeska died at 54 on September 11, 2003, He fell ill during filming of his sitcom, ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,’ and died shortly after of aortic dissection. Bad Santa was his last live action film. Also Bernie Mac who played Gin Slagel. He died of cardiac arrest on August 9, 2008. He was 50.

Bad Santa 2 will be released worldwide on November 23, 2016. – by John Beaudin