Mel Gibson is attached to play Santa Claus in the action comedy Fatman, which Fortitude will introduce to buyers in Cannes next week.
Ian and Eshom Nelms (Small Town Crime) will direct the story about a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus whose business is in decline. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12-year-old hires a hitman to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.
Brandon James of Rough House, Nadine de Barros of Fortitude and Lisa Wolofsky of Skywolf will produce. The Nelmses wrote the screenplay and production is scheduled for early 2020 in Canada.
Executive producers include James’ Rough House Partners, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jody Hill. CAA represents US rights.
“I am excited to be working with the incredibly talented Nelms Brothers who have written a unique, highly entertaining script,” said de Barros. “Mel is the perfect choice as Kris Kringle like we’ve never seen him before. I couldn’t be more thrilled to watch this darkly comedic Christmas film come to life.”
“This rowdy Santa tale is a film we’ve been excited to make for some time and we’re thrilled to have equally passionate partners in Rough House and Fortitude who carry the same fire!” said the Nelmses.
Fortitude’s Cannes line-up includes Michael Shannon in Swing and Echoboomers, Dennis Dugan’s Love & Other Disasters, and Kristen Stewart in JT Leroy.