One of the most famous Christmas movies focusing on St. Nick himself is the 1994 family comedy film, The Santa Clause. The film stars Tim Allen as a man who becomes Santa Claus due to an unfortunate mishap. In the movie, Allen's character, Scott Calvin, catches the real Santa on his rooftop, much to both of their surprise. Calvin spooks Santa, causing Kris Kringle to lose his footing and fall off the roof onto the ground below. The drop kills Santa, and when Calvin puts on the trademark red jacket, he magically becomes the annual gift deliverer. It's about as light-hearted as a death in a family comedy film can be, but as Allen recently revealed on The Tonight Show, the set-up for the story was supposed to be a tad more violent.
"The original Santa Clause is a little darker, written by two comedians, and I actually shot and killed Santa in the original movie. He fell off the roof because I thought he was a burglar, and he gives me the card and the whole movie starts. But the kid actually starts, 'Well you just killed Santa.' I said, 'He shouldn't have been on the roof when he wasn't invited.'"
While Tim Allen found the scene hilarious, he was informed by the Disney brass that the scene was going to have to change. The actor was told point blank that the company was not going to start a film with the murder of Santa Claus. It's rational reasoning, and the scene was then changed to have Santa's death the result of an accident after Allen's character accidentally scares him. The original scene is a little humorous to think about in a dark way, but it's certainly all for the best that changes were made. Especially when considering what we've been seeing in the headlines in recent years, it's needless to say that the scene wouldn't have aged well at all.
Rewriting the scene was obviously the right call. As it is, no controversy was spawned from the film, and it wound up producing two sequels. Allen has not played the role since the 2003 sequel The Escape Clause, but the films are still regularly played by families around the world every holiday season. The third and final movie did not fare as well financially and critically as the first two, and it seems unlikely we'll wee Allen ever reprise the part. Regardless, the first film in particular will always be considered a Christmas classic. One can't help but wonder how differently things would have been if Allen had gunned down Santa Claus in the movie instead.
Allen may be through playing Santa, but he's doing just fine in Hollywood. The actor has spent a lot of time speaking about the upcoming sequel Toy Story 4, which will feature him reprising the voice of Buzz Lightyear. He has been teasing that fans can expect some heartbreaking moments in the film, which isn't necessarily out of line with the movies before it. Allen says he couldn't even get through the script when reading it, so we might be looking at the saddest Toy Story ending yet. Promising a genius screenplay from brilliant writers, Allen has been hyping up the film, which is turning out to be one of next year's most anticipated releases.
In the Tonight Show interview, Allen spoke more about how emotional Toy Story 4 will be, as well as Keanu Reeves' involvement in the film. He also opened up about what it was like playing Santa Claus, which was an odd fit for him as he "doesn't like" children. He also had to tell his daughter not to tell her classmates that her father was Santa, reminding her that he's only an actor and was just pretending. You can watch the interview for yourself in the Tonight Show YouTube.