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Fatman Trailer: Mel Gibson’s Santa Claus Fights Off An Assassin

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Mel Gibson's stressed out Santa Claus fights off an assassin in the first trailer for Fatman. Given his history as an action star in movies like the original Mad Max saga, the Lethal Weapon movies and his Oscar-winning epic Braveheart, Gibson seems like a strange choice to take on the role of everyone's favorite spreader of Christmas cheer, Santa Claus himself.

But Gibson is indeed set to play Santa Claus in the new movie Fatman, though this take on the character is definitely far from cheerful. Indeed, Fatman takes a dark, R-rated view of Santa, depicting him as a failing business man forced to resort to desperate measures in order to keep on bringing joy to the children of the world. If that weren't bad enough, Santa also has an assassin on his heels, because of one young boy who objected to being given a lump of coal in his stocking (this concept may in fact seem familiar to fans of DC's Lobo).

The first trailer for this bizarre and unsettling take on Santa Claus has now arrived from Saban Films, and things indeed look grave at the North Pole. See the clip in the space below along with a new poster:

Any thoughts that Gibson and company have made a cheerfully conventional Christmas movie immediately go out the window with this trailer, which has the feel of a trailer for a super-dark Liam Neeson style of thriller. Clearly though, the movie's intent is to be darkly comedic, as it depicts Santa Claus as an aging man out of step with the rest of the world, who is obviously angry at the turn things have taken. Given that Gibson seems to be exactly this type of person in real life, he is either perfectly cast in this movie or perversely cast.

Gibson indeed has fallen a long way from his height as one of the most popular and bankable movie stars in the world in the 1980s and 90s. The actor of course is better remembered today for his many off-screen transgressions, including making blatantly anti-semitic and racist remarks, and getting embroiled in a domestic abuse scandal. In recent years, Gibson has tried to reverse his fortunes and get back into Hollywood's good graces, but though he did manage to score a win with his Oscar-nominated direction on Hacksaw Ridge, on the acting side he has largely been relegated to taking roles in B-movies alongside the occasional smaller role in more mainstream movies like Daddy's Home 2 (which indeed came under fire for casting Gibson).

It remains to be seen if Fatman will help Gibson turn things around professionally, but it definitely doesn't look like a movie that's meant to soften his image, as it seems to lean into dark humor and bleakness rather than shy away. Audiences will get to decide if they can stomach Gibson's super-dark Santa Claus when the movie releases in select theaters on November 13, 2020 and on demand on November 17.

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