Saban Films has acquired U.S. rights to Fatman, the dark action comedy starring Mel Gibson as Santa Claus. The deal reunites the company with writer-directors Eshom and Ian Nelms after Saban released the brothers’ noir Small Town Crime in 2017. A 2020 release is in the works for Fatman.
Walton Goggins and Marianne Jean-Baptiste star alongside Gibson in the film, in which a neglected and precocious 12-year-old hires an unorthodox hitman (Goggins) to kill Santa (Gibson) after getting a lump of coal in his stocking.
A first-look photo of Gibson has also emerged (see below). He plays a rowdy, unorthodox Santa who is fighting his business decline.
Fortitude International’s Nadine de Barros, Mammoth Entertainment’s Todd Courtney, RBL Studios’ Michelle Lang, Zed Filmworks’ Robert Menzies and Skywolf Media’s Lisa Wolofsky are producers on the pic, which launched sales at Cannes in 2019 when Gibson came on board. Executive producers are Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba along with financiers Hans Hufschmid and Courtney in addition to Brandon James, Alastair Burlingham, The Film House’s Ryan R. Johnson, Windy Hill Pictures’ Buddy Patrick, Gary Raskin, Ben Rosenblatt, Kyle Stroud and Ingenious Media’s Peter Touche and Samantha Allwinton.
“This is our second collaboration with the Nelms brothers, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring another unique, thrilling movie of theirs to our audiences,” Bromiley said. “Eshom and Ian are a talented duo, and we were hooked from script stage. This one is a fun ride.”
Saba and Bromiley negotiated the deal with Fortitude’s de Barros on behalf of the filmmakers. Fortitude International is handling international rights.
Here is Gibson in the first photo from Fatman: