Nadine de Barros, Fortitude CEO, announced today that Mel Gibson is attached to play Santa Claus in the action comedy feature Fatman.

Starring award-winning actor Mel Gibson, Fatman will be directed by filmmakers Ian and Eshom Nelms (Small Town Crime, Waffle Street, Lost On Purpose), based on their original script. The film will be produced by Brandon James of Rough House, Nadine de Barros (JT Leroy) of Fortitude and Lisa Wolofsky (White Crow) of Skywolf.

“I am Excited to be working with the incredibly talented Nelms Brothers who have written a unique, highly entertaining script. Mel is the perfect choice as Kris Kringle like we’ve never seen him before. I couldn’t be more thrilled to watch this darkly comedic Christmas film come to life,” said de Barros of Fortitude.

Executive producers include James’ Rough House Partners, David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Jody Hill. Scheduled to film early 2020 in Canada, Fatman is the story of a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus who is fighting his business decline. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year-old hires a hitman to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

“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 writers/directors Eshom and Ian Nelms.

The remaining roles are currently being cast. In addition to Fatman, Fortitude Cannes’19 line-up includes Michael Shannon’s Swing and Echoboomers, Dennis Dugan’s Love & Other Disasters, Kristen Stewart’s JT Leroy.