If we’ve learned one lesson lately, it’s that 2020 is going to 2020. So the recently released trailer for the movie “Fatman,” featuring two-time Oscar winner Mel Gibson as a gun-toting Santa Claus, should really not come as that much of a shock. And yet one really can’t be ready for actually laying eyes on such a thing.
Released by Saban Films, the movie is scheduled to open where theaters are open on Nov. 13 before launching on-demand and on digital platforms Nov. 17
Written and directed by Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms, who previously made the gritty thriller “Small Town Crime,” the film stars Gibson as a Chris Cringle who has fallen on hard times, despondent over his diminished standing in the world. He reluctantly allows the U.S. military to hire him for his “services.” At the same time, a 12-year-old boy upset over getting only a lump of coal for Christmas hires a hitman (Walton Goggins of “The Righteous Gemstones” and “The Hateful Eight”) to enact revenge. There are also elves involved. Oscar nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays Gibson’s wife.
The gleefully outrageous trailer drew much startled attention online, such as a message posted by Claire McNear, staff writer for The Ringer, that declared, “Have watched this trailer 15 times and still cannot believe it’s real.”
When the project was first announced in May 2019 as part of the Cannes film market, it had David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jody Hill attached as executive producers via their Rough House production label. Their names and the production company do not appear in the credit block for the final film.
That initial announcement also drew the attention of Green’s “Pineapple Express” star Seth Rogen, who declared “Ho-ho-holocaust denier” on a Twitter post that now has more than 204,000 likes
The “Fatman” trailer opens with a voice-over of Gibson saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve lost my influence.” We all know, Mel, we all know