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Bad Santa 2 is officially happening

If you’re one of the people who saw 2003’s raunchy holiday comedy Bad Santa and thought, “That was great, but will I ever see more of this irreverent, alcoholic, criminal Santa Claus with a sex addiction?” you’re in luck, because a sequel is officially in the works.

Miramax and Broad Green Pictures announced this week that Billy Bob Thornton will reprise his role as Willie T. Stokes, the titular bad Santa, for a sequel that will begin shooting early next year.

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The studios released an official statement this week confirming that Bad Santa 2 will go into production in 2016. Shooting is expected to happen in and around Montreal, Quebec. No release date was indicated in the announcement, but it’s reasonable to expect the film to hit theaters during the late-year holiday season.

“We’ve been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob’s Willie Stokes mess with the holiday season in his own unique way,” said Miramax’s EVP of Film & TV, Zanne Devine, in the official statement on the project. “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.”

The first Bad Santa was released in November 2003 and cast Thornton as an alcoholic, sex-crazed criminal who, along with his partner Marcus (Tony Cox), engages in an annual scheme to rob shopping malls during the Christmas season. The pair pose as a mall Santa and elf, respectively, and pull off the lucrative heist each year during the holiday.

The criminal duo’s plans hit a snag, however, when Willie’s excesses and libidinous cravings render him incapable of pulling off the Santa charade, and he finds himself hitting one depressing low point after another in his downward spiral.

Along with Thornton and Cox, the film featured Gilmore Girls actress Lauren Graham as a woman with a Santa fetish, Bernie Mac as the head of security for the mall, and Cloris Leachman as the senile grandmother of a kid Willie befriends. In his last movie role before his death, John Ritter played the manager of the mall Willie and Marcus were planning to rob.

The original film was directed by Ghost World and Art School Confidential filmmaker Terry Zwigoff, and was executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen.

Bad Santa has been a part of our family holiday tradition ever since we all saw it together at our neighborhood theater,” said Broad Green Pictures CEO Gabriel Hammond and CCO Daniel Hammond in a joint statement. “We are excited to bring this memorable character and new chapter back to the big screen.”