One Too Many ‘Bad Santa’ Sequel Scripts in the Works

After a summer that’s already seen a Bad Teacher and some Horrible Bosses, I have started to sense that a new trend might be forming in Hollywood. Movies about awful people seem to be in, so that means we’re going to be seeing some remakes and sequels of past successes that have had less than likable protagonists. What does that mean for us in concrete terms? Thankfully, not a sequel to Richard Linklater’s awful Bad News Bears remake, but instead a sequel to Terry Zwigoff’s much more enjoyable Bad Santa.

24 Frames is reporting that Dimension and Miramax are teaming up to conceive some sort of sequel to the relatively successful, Billy Bob Thornton starring, 2003 film. And actually, they’re so taken with the idea of a Bad Santa sequel they’ve hired two different writers to pen scripts for them. Both are youngsters in the business who have recently sold their first scripts, and both have been told that they aren’t the only person writing on this project.

The first name tapped to further the adventures of Thornton’s curmudgeonly con man is Johnny Rosenthal. He sold a script to Sony titled Iron Jack for a cool million, but the project has so far been unable to get out of developmental hell. The second guy they got is John Phillips, who sold an R-rated comedy script to Universal called Dirty Grandpa. Huh, two points to this guy for knowing which way the wind is blowing.

So what do you do once you have two scripts for the same movie in your hands? There are several possibilities. Perhaps you film one over the other, because one of them stinks. Perhaps you merge elements of both into one super script. Or maybe, just maybe, you have one worked over as Bad Santa 2, and then give the other a slight re-write to work as Bad Santa 3. What do I think about this approach to writing movie? I think that it’s assembly line crap that more often than not is going to churn out garbage. But just because the system is broken doesn’t mean that one or both of these guys won’t come up with a great script despite it. Good luck to both of them, I liked Bad Santa a lot, and wouldn’t mind getting some more.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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