If you’ve got a bloody revolution to win or a messiah to crucify, Mel Gibson is definitely the man to bring the violent realism home. So based on the R-rating his new Christmas movie Fatman has gotten for bloody violence and language, the filmmaker is on familiar ground with us. But set at Christmas and with Santa Clause as the title character, the comedy is going make for unusual present under our trees. This even when it comes from Mel Gibson.
Saban Films has purchased the rights to Mel Gibson’s Fatman and the premise sounds playful enough. Santa’s enterprise is struggling to stay afloat, and to make ends meet, he partners with the military. Even so, the Fatman’s inventory is apparently still running light, and a 12 year old does not take kindly to the lump of coal he receives in his stocking. The slighted boy then hires a hitman, and hopes to settle the score.
That said, the chances sound pretty good that multiple heads or limbs won’t be lopped off and to stack up to Mel Gibson’s other R ratings. However, a movie still and audio recently released hints that Fatman will definitely put a rough edge on the Christmas comedy.
Mel Gibson sports a thick beard and mustache and menacingly dictates into the phone. “A not-so-jolly take on Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, according to Neeraj Chand of Movieweb.com. ‘I have a particular set of skills that make him a nightmare for naughty boys and girls.’”
The decision to cast Walton Goggins as the hitman also darkens the setting. “Goggins has vast experience playing the kind of unsettling villains who can make you uncomfortable with a mere look,” added Chand.
Given some of Mel Gibsons past transgressions, we can’t help having mixed feelings at his appearance. But the Australian born actor continues to have success and stay busy. He received an Academy Award nomination in 2017 for his direction of Hacksaw Ridge and Boss Level and Last Looks are new films waiting for release.
As for Fatman, year end is set for the film’s opening and alongside Mel Gibson and Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste fills out the bill. She is best known on the big screen for roles in Secrets & Lies and Spy Game, while television has found her in series such as Without a Trace and more recently in Homecoming and Soundtrack.
Good company for Mel Gibson, he will not be directing, though. Those duties have been left to the brothers who developed the idea and marks the second time Saban Films has collaborated with Eshom and Ian Nelms.
In fact, Small Town Crime left such a good taste, that the studio president was definitely primed for a look at this eclectic offering. “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,” said Bill Bromiley.
More than a sound bite, Bromiley received co-executive producer credit for the film. He joined forces with Jonathan Saba, and it was both executives who helped negotiate the final deal for the Mel Gibson film.