After some time away from Hollywood lead roles, Mel Gibson is back in an unexpected project. The actor and filmmaker will play the role of an "Unorthodox Chris Cringle" aka Santa Claus in the upcoming comedy movie Fatman. Now, Filmratings.com has confirmed that the movie will be R-rated for "bloody violence and language".
While an R-rating would seem like an unexpected choice for a comedy about Santa Claus, anyone who has even scant knowledge of Gibson's filmography will be unsurprised. The actor had his Hollywood breakout in the bloody historical epic Braveheart, which he produced, directed, and played the lead in. Gibson also made The Passion of the Christ, which made history after becoming the highest-grossing R-rated movie of its time, and became the subject of much controversy over the excessive amounts of graphic violence depicted in it.
Basically, there are few actors better suited to making an R-rated movie than Gibson. But it must be remembered that he will only be playing the lead in Fatman and not directing it. Details regarding the film are scarce at this point, but the plot appears to deal with Santa partnering with the military to keep his gift-giving business afloat, and a young boy who employs the services of a hitman to take down Father Christmas.
It's not the kind of holiday time movie that audiences might be expecting, and that might work in its favor, if Fatman is able to mine its intriguing premise for a full-on R-rated comedy adventure. While no trailer has yet been released for the movie, a movie still was posted online last month, and it showed Mel Gibson with a thick beard and mustache combo speaking threateningly on the phone, like a not-so-jolly take on Liam Neeson's character in Taken talking about having a "particular set of skills that make him a nightmare for naughty boys and girls".
Saban Films had brought the rights to Fatman earlier this year, and the president of the studio, Bill Bromiley, explained what it was about the project that had prompted them to take it on.
"This is our second collaboration with the [writers-directors] Nelms brothers, and we couldn't be more excited to bring another unique, thrilling movie of theirs to our audiences. Eshom and Ian are a talented duo, and we were hooked from script stage. This one is a fun ride."
If Gibson's involvement and an R-rating were not enough to prove Fatman is going to be the dark, gritty take on the legend of Santa Claus that the world did not know it needed, Walton Goggins is also a part of the cast as Skinny Man, a hitman who works in a toy store who is tasked with taking down Gibson's Chris Cringle. Goggins has vast experience playing the kind of unsettling villains who can make you uncomfortable with a mere look. It will be a treat to watch him going toe-to-toe with Braveheart-Santa Claus. This news arrives from The Film Ratings board.