Bad Santa 2's original casting plan

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 November 2016
Robert Duvall

Robert Duvall

Robert Duvall was originally cast in 'Bad Santa 2' prior to Kathy Bates being chosen for the part of the parent of Willie [Billie Bob Thornton]

Robert Duvall was originally cast in 'Bad Santa 2' before Kathy Bates.

The 68-year-old actress stars in the sequel to the popular Christmas comedy movie as the mother of the main character, Willie - played by Billy Bob Thornton - but it has now been revealed the movie bosses wanted a male to take on the role, and they had the 85-year-old Hollywood legend in mind.

Director Mark Waters told "There was a whole series of development ideas based around [Willie] and his dad - his dad being the most awful person in the world. And it was like, 'Let's get Robert Duvall to play the dad!' And he was actually named Sonny with an 'O.' And then we said, 'What if it becomes Sunny with a 'U' and it's a woman.' And then immediately it seemed like 'Well why not get Kathy Bates?' I think we were saying, 'Let's get a Kathy Bates-type.'"

And the casting issue around Willie's parents wasn't the only problem the 'Bad Santa 2' team faced, as there were also questions surrounding the return of Thurman Merman, the young boy played by Brett Kelly.

Mark added: "The original, I think, they didn't know if they were going to try and bring back Tony [Cox, who plays Marcus] or Brett, at first. For many years it was like, 'Okay, if Brett's only aged two years, that's not really funny.' And I think it was only when they realised, 'Oh wait, what if it's his 21st birthday, and [Willie] is trying to get him laid.' Suddenly that can be funny!"

'Bad Santa 2' sees Willie return to cash in on the festive season once again, this time with a plan to steal millions of dollars from a Chicago-based charity.

The movie will be released in the US on Wednesday (23.11.16), before coming to UK cinema screens on Friday (25.11.16)

Bad Santa 2

  • 1 star
  • 2016
  • US
  • 1h 36min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Mark Waters
  • Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Kathy Bates, Christina Hendricks
  • UK release: 23 November 2016

Willie (Thornton) has slid back to rock bottom when his estranged accomplice Marcus (Cox) returns with the promise of a big payday. The first film was foul-mouthed, politically incorrect, lewd and rude, but also bracing and very funny. This is just bludgeoning, misanthropic and depressing and should never have been made.

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