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Billy Bob Thornton Talks Directing 'Jayne Mansfield's Car' & Looks Back On 'Sling Blade,' 'Armageddon,' 'Bad Santa' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 13, 2013 2:06 PM
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  • 3 Comments
These days, most people think of Billy Bob Thornton as an actor, thanks to his unforgettable performances in pictures like the Coens’ “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” and Terry Zwigoff’s “Bad Santa,” so much so that it’s easy to forget that Thornton wrote, directed and starred in the Academy-Award winning “Sling Blade” (Best Adapted) and co-wrote genre classics like Carl Franklin’s “One False Move” and Raimi’s “The Gift.” His latest effort as a co-writer, director, and star is “Jayne Mansfield's Car,” which opens today in theaters and on demand, a charming comedic drama about a southern family whose matriarch leaves, marries a man in England, and then dies (you can read our review from Berlin earlier this year here). The movie takes place on the eve of her funeral, with the two families (one stiff-upper-lip, one deep-fried-south) collide.

'Alice In Wonderland 2' & 'Bad Santa 2' Are Moving Forward With Directors & Writers Coming On Board

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 30, 2013 6:52 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Sequels! It's taken a while, but wildly successful movies, from different sides of the tracks, are now getting ready to return in front of the cameras as sequels, and even better, they've got some helmers to do with it. So, let's dive in.

Terry Zwigoff Talks Battling Over 'Bad Santa,' His Preferred Director's Cut & Much More In Candid Interview

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 20, 2012 1:13 PM
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  • 12 Comments
This weekend in San Francisco, SF Sketchfest, the people behind the San Francisco Comedy Festival, are producing a day's worth of holiday-themed programming at the historical Castro Theatre. The centerpiece of this day-long event is a director's cut screening of "Bad Santa," the insta-classic by "Ghost World" filmmaker Terry Zwigoff that stars Billy Bob Thornton as a boozing, thieving St. Nick. Zwigoff will be at the screening, along with Tony Cox (who plays Thornton's midget sidekick) and Lauren Tom (who played Cox's wife), to do a post-screening Q&A.

‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Director Steve Pink To Helm, Rewrite ‘Bad Santa 2’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 31, 2012 9:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It was only last year that Billy Bob Thornton expressed a sure opinion when he confirmed a sequel to the 2003 film “Bad Santa,” and true to his word, the project has steadily been rolling along. Dimension Films even hired two separate writers, John Rosenthal and John Phillips, to deliver competing scripts to ensure maximum comedy potential, but as the film finally finds a director at the forefront, it also finds the same man giving another pass at the text.

Billy Bob Thornton Says 'Bad Santa 2' Will Shoot This Fall For Christmas 2013 Release; 'And Then We Drove' Will Lens This Summer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 14, 2012 1:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It has been a while since we heard anything about the long developing "Bad Santa 2," the sequel to the hit R-rated comedy that has yet to be topped for holiday raunch. Nearly a year ago it was confirmed that Billy Bob Thornton would be returning to reprise the role of Willie, while over the summer it was revealed that Dimension Films had hired two writers -- Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips -- to each write separate scripts with the winning screenplay getting the thumbs up to go into production. Well, things have been quiet for a while but it looks like "Bad Santa 2" may finally be going in front of cameras.

Billy Bob Thornton Says He Hopes Fans Get A Kick Out Of Seeing Him Return As 'Bad Santa'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • October 26, 2011 3:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In the last decade, Billy Bob Thornton has become associated with a litany of cantankerous, intimidating characters, via “Mr. Woodcock,” “Bad News Bears,” and of course, “Bad Santa.” Almost ten years after making “Bad Santa,” Thornton is planning to return to the role that made him a king of black comedy via a sequel to be penned by one of the two competing sets of writers. Given the positive experience Thornton had on the first film, he recently said that he hopes lightning will strike twice as he enters into the first sequel of his career.

Dimension Makes Sure 'Bad Santa 2' Will Be Doubly Excellent By Commissioning Two Competing Scripts

  • By Sam Price
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  • July 15, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In the years since “Bad Santa” was released in 2003, it’s become something of a holiday season anarcho-classic and alternate required viewing to off-set the occasionally cloying feel-goodery of bona fide golden oldies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” It’s also one of the few legitimate bright spots in the wizened and dull sub-genre of the “Christmas movie” that’s been particularly bankrupt of late (to wit: “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Fred Claus,” “Four Christmases,” Billy Bob Thornton’s own “Ice Harvest,” etc) which tend to be lazily executed and have an extremely short cultural shelf life. Talk of a sequel has been bandied about for years but only recently did “Bad Santa 2” seem to gain any traction, first with star Thornton announcing he’d be up for it and now, as The LA Times reports, the hiring of two writers, Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips who, somewhat bizarrely, will write separate and competing drafts of the same film. The ‘winning’ script will move forward into production for a mooted Christmas 2012 release date, with the possibility of material in the other script being folded into another potential sequel.

Billy Bob Thornton Suiting Up For 'Bad Santa 2'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 18, 2011 6:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments
That didn't take very long. Last November, Billy Bob Thornton first hinted that "Bad Santa 2" was in development saying that it was something he "actually would like to do. I’ve never done a sequel to one of my movies, but that one makes sense to me to do it.” A month later, The Weinstein Company struck a deal with the current owners of Miramax to help develop sequels and television spinoffs to a number of prominent catalog titles including “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Copland,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Swingers,” “Clerks,” “Shall We Dance,” “The Amityville Horror,” "Rounders," "Shakespeare In Love" and yes, "Bad Santa." Well, it looks like contracts are now being drafted up.

Billy Bob Thornton To Make Directorial Return With 'Jayne Mansfield's Car'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 22, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments
'Bad Santa 2' Also In The Works Midway through what's now nearly 25 years in the film business, Billy Bob Thornton gave his career new life by writing, directing and acting in the drama "Sling Blade," picking up a Best Screenplay Academy Award for his troubles. While the film quickly became an easy punchline (really, who among 1990s stand-up comedians didn't have a Sling Blade impersonation in their repertoire?), it holds up well today, and seemed to signal the arrival of a major directorial talent.

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