Kevin Spacey has been set by Warner Bros. to play the villain in Joe Claus, according to Variety. The comedy will be directed by David Dobkin and also starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. The film, written by Dan Fogelman, was originally titled Fred Claus, but the studio encountered title clearance problems.
The role marks back-to-back Warner Bros. villains for Spacey, who plays Lex Luthor in this summer's Bryan Singer-directed Superman Returns.
Joe Claus shoots in the fall in London, which is convenient for Spacey because he can continue his work as artistic director of the Old Vic theatre. Spacey is already set to star in an Old Vic stage revival of Moon for the Misbegotten.
Vaughn stars as the loser brother of Santa who joins his sibling at the North Pole. John Michael Higgins, who recently worked with Vaughn in The Break-Up, has joined the cast as Santa's head elf. Judi Dench will also star in the film.