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Confirmed: Billy Bob Thornton to shoot 'Bad Santa 2' in early 2016

Long-awaited sequel will hit cinemas in Christmas 2016

The long-awaited sequel to Bad Santa has been officially announced.

Billy Bob Thornton will start shooting Bad Santa 2 in January, makers Miramax and Broad Green Pictures confirmed yesterday. The film will then open in cinemas during the 2016 festive season.

"We've been waiting far too long to see Billy Bob's Willie Soke mess with the holiday season in his own unique way," said Miramax's Zanne Devine in a press release. "We couldn't be more excited to partner with Billy Bob, the entire creative and producing team, and Broad Green and Sierra/Affinity to bring back the outrageous humour and characters that made this movie brand iconic in the first place."

Released in 2003, the original Bad Santa starred Billy Bob Thornton as an alcoholic conman who poses as a shopping centre Santa Claus in order to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. Filled with sex, swearing and general misery, the black comedy has become something of an anti-Christmas favourite.

A sequel has been in the works since 2009 with Entourage creator Doug Ellin hired to rewrite the script in 2013. However, the latest press release makes no mention of the sequel's director or screenwriter(s).

Thornton's co-stars in the original Bad Santa included Bernie Mac and John Ritter, both of whom have sadly passed away since its release.

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