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Mel Gibson to Star as Santa Claus in ‘Fatman’ Comedy

Mel Gibson is attached to play Santa Claus in the independent action comedy feature “Fatman.”

Fortitude is handling international sales rights and will introduce the project to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens May 14. CAA is handling U.S. sales rights.

Scheduled to film in early 2020 in Canada, “Fatman” is the story of a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus who is fighting his business decline — while a neglected and precocious 12-year-old hires a hitman to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

“Fatman” will be directed by the team of Ian and Eshom Nelms from their own script. Their credits include “Small Town Crime,” “Waffle Street” and “Lost on Purpose.”

The film will be produced by Brandon James of Rough House, Nadine de Barros of Fortitude and Lisa Wolofsky of Skywolf. Executive producers include James’ Rough House partners David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jody Hill.

“This rowdy Santa tale is a film we’ve been excited to make for some time and we’re thrilled to have equally passionate partners in Rough House and Fortitude who carry the same fire!” said Eshom and Ian Nelms.

Gibson was last seen in “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Dragged Across Concrete.” He received a best director Academy Award nomination in 2017 for “Hacksaw Ridge”

Gibson is represented by CAA. The Nelms brothers are repped by Ilene Feldman Management, LBI Entertainment, ICM Partners and Morris, Yorn, Rubenstein.

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