Billy Bob Thornton hit the big race for the bad Santa

It’s tough to imagine anyone but Billy Bob Thornton as Willie T. Soke, Santa’s evil king. The role of Santa Claus, the drunk and alcoholic Santa Claus in the mall is one of the most memorable in Thornton’s long career. And Thornton’s misanthropic twists were the ancestor of characters like Rick Sanchez.

As far as you can imagine, another staring at the anti-Christmas classic – and its less-promoted sequel – Thornton was not the first choice for the role. When the Coen brothers devised the film until Thornton took part, several prominent actors fought for an iconic figure, including an actor known for his groundbreaking role in The Sopranos.

The Coen brothers, executive producers of Bad Santa, asked screenwriters John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to write the part of Soke for Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini. The Coens worked with Gandolfini in the neo-noir film The Man Who Wasn’t There. Eventually, Thornton starred in this film.

Coens only had actors in the lead role. They also desired veteran Seinfeld actor Danny Woodburn to play Marcus, Sokes’ criminal partner, and Angus T. Jones of Men as Thurman Merman, with whom Willie has an unusual relationship. None of this happened, though. Tony Cox took over the role of Marcus, and Brett Kelly took over the part of Thurman.

When Gandolfini took on the role for reasons no one involved in the show explained, Bill Murray was the next actor to take on the part of the evil Santa Claus. However, he seems to have lost interest. Requa tells the New York Times that Murray has stopped taking calls from Miramax to play Soke, which is not uncommon for him, as anyone who has followed his role in the Ghostbusters series can attest.

However, Murray was not the only high-profile actor who struggled to play Soke. According to producer Bob Weinstein, Miramax introduced the role to Robert De Niro, who “tried to do it” at one point. Thornton noted that actors Nicolas Cage and Sean Penn were also ready for the role.

After Thornton’s agent gave him the script, it did not take long to get him to play the role. After reading “maybe a third party,” Thornton called back to his agent and asked him to play the character. Its solutions have paid off in the short and long term. Bad Santa was a surprise when it hit theaters in 2003, grossing $ 76.5 million. It is still a cult classic to this day.

It’s interesting to imagine how some of these actors played the role of Soke. Hard to believe that Nicolas Cage never gave his unique intensity to Santa’s interrogation role. There are no ideas about what might be so common in Bad Santa or any other movie because Thornton was so good at the part. That was not the plan from the start, but it went well when Thornton got the job.