With production set to begin later this month in Montreal, the cast is coming together for Miramax's long-awaited sequel Bad Santa 2. Deadline reports that Mad Men star Christina Hendricks has joined the cast, portraying a new character who runs a charitable organization. While not specified in the site's report, it's possible that she could be the new love interest for Billy Bob Thornton's Willie Soke.
The Bad Santa 2 cast also includes Kathy Bates, who portrays Willie Soke's mother, described as a "foul-mouthed" woman. Tony Cox (Marcus) and Brett Kelly (The Kid) will also reprise their roles from the original Bad Santa, but it isn't known if others such as Lauren Graham or Lauren Tom will be back for this follow-up. No story details have been released at this point, but hopefully we'll learn more as production gets under way.
The original Bad Santa earned $76.4 million at the box office from a $23 million production budget. The story centered on thieves Willie and Marcus, who would work as a mall Santa and his elf every year, before robbing the entire mall on Christmas Eve. When Willie meets a young kid (Brett Kelly) who keeps getting bullied, Willie steps up and befriends this youngster, while a mall security guard (Bernie Mac) uncovers their plan.
Mark Waters (Mean Girls) is directing from a screenplay by Doug Ellin, Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross. Geyer Kosinski and Andrew Gunn are producing, with Mark Waters and Doug Ellin serving as executive producers. Miramax will partner with Broad Green Pictures to co-finance and co-produce, with Broad Green distributing Bad Santa 2 theatrically in the U.S., and Sierra/Affinity handling international sales.
Christina Hendricks is best known for her portrayal of Joan Holloway on AMC's critically-acclaimed series Mad Men. On the big screen, she recently starred in Dark Places, and she will next be seen in The Neon Demon, alongside Keanu Reeves and Elle Fanning, and in Fist Fight with Charlie Day and Ice Cube. We'll keep you posted with more on Bad Santa 2 as we get closer to production starting later this month.