Happy Holidays, movie fans! Nearly 12 years after the release of the original Bad Santa 2 is finally loading up its sleigh and Billy Bob Thornton’s alcohol-swilling, expletive-hurling con-man Willie just got a co-pilot.
According to Variety, Miramax and Broad Green Pictures have cast the great Kathy Bates (Titanic, Misery) as the con-man’s mother, and while we don’t have any details on the character yet, you can bet that she won’t be polite, soft-spoken, or particularly maternal.
The first Bad Santa was a certified cult hit, and hauled in an impressive $60 million domestically, against a budget of only $15 million. This time around, Mark Waters (Mean Girls) will direct a screenplay co-written by Doug Ellin (Entourage) and it’s safe to assume we’ll see plenty more vulgarity and bad behavior from this long-awaited sequel.
As for Bates, we’ve seen her play intimidating, larger-than-life matriarchs many times before and it’s a character she excels at. This being a comedy, her turn as Bobby Boucher’s mama in The Waterboy comes to mind (“Mama says that, happiness is from magic rays of sunshine that come down when you’re feeling blue.”). Her character in Bad Santa 2 is likely to be less of a helicopter mom, but still someone to avoid trifling with.
While this seems like a pretty perfect casting decision to us, it’s interesting to note that the 67-year-old Bates is actually only six years older than the 60-year-old Thornton. Not exactly the typical mother-son age gap, but we’re willing to roll with it.
For the time being, Bad Santa 2 is still in preproduction, and the film isn’t expected to hit theaters until sometime next year. Still, fans will be heartened to see that this project is finally moving forward.
In the meantime, you can catch Billy Bob Thornton in Our Brand is Crisis and Kathy Bates in FX’s American Horror Story.