12:45pm PT by Borys Kit
Kurt Russell to Play Santa Claus in Netflix Christmas Movie (Exclusive)
Kurt Russell is bringing Christmas cheer to Netflix.
The veteran actor is teaming with Judah Lewis, the star of Netflix’s horror-comedy film The Babysitter, along with Darby Camp of Big Little Lies, to star in an untitled Christmas movie for the streaming giant.
Chris Columbus — who knows a thing or two about the holidays, having directed two Home Alone movies — is producing the live-action pic that will also mix CG elements. Clay Kaytis, co-director of The Angry Birds Movie, is helming the feature.
The story centers on two siblings (Lewis and Camp) who try to prove that Santa is real by catching him on camera. When they accidentally cause his sleigh to crash in Chicago, they have to help get Christmas back on track before it's ruined. Russell is playing jolly ol’ Saint Nick.
The script, which was once titled 12/24, was written by Matt Lieberman, who also wrote the stop-motion animated version of The Addams Family, which is currently in production at MGM. The script is based on an original idea by David Guggenheim, creator of the TV show Designated Survivor, and Lieberman.
Production on the movie is due to commence in January with an eye to releasing it for the holiday season in 2018.
Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe will produce for 1492 Pictures. Executive producing are Ocean Blue Entertainment, Monica Lago Kaytis, Lyn Lucibello, Adam Kolbrenner, Robyn Meisinger and Guggenheim. Erik-Jan De Boer, who won an Oscar for his work on Life of Pi, will oversee the visual effects.
Russell, whose credits include 1980s classics Escape From New York and The Thing, is coming off a year which saw him co-star in a pair of the top-grossing films: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Fate of the Furious. He is repped by CAA.
Lewis toplined Babysitter, leading a cast that included Bella Thorne and Samara Weaving. McG directed the flick, which proved to be a big winner for Netflix when it released it in time for Halloween. The actor next stars in Summer of ’84, a thriller set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January. He is repped by Paradigm, Management 360 and Morris Yorn.
Camp just wrapped the Dust Bowl drama Dreamland with Margot Robbie and is expected to return for a second season of HBO's Big Little Lies, reprising her role as Reese Witherspoon’s daughter. She is repped by Paradigm and Alex Kohner at Morris Yorn.