Director Jake Kazdan, it seems, has been everywhere. From California in Orange County, to the hallways of a Chicago middle school in Bad Teacher, to the tropics of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, he’s a well-traveled guy. And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s headed for markedly cooler climes: The North Pole. And even better? He’s bringing Dwayne Johnson along for the (sleigh) ride.
Details for the film are sparse, but THR gives the title as Red One, describing it as a “unique Christmas-themed feature project.” Kasdan will direct, and is also being attached to produce the film, which is being set up at Amazon. The studio describes it as “a globe-trotting, four-quadrant action-adventure comedy, imagining a whole new universe to explore within the holiday genre.” The film aims to shoot next year, with a 2023 holiday release.
Hiram Garcia, another producer attached to the film, created the original story which is being turned into a script by Chris Morgan, who previously wrote four Fast and Furious installments, plus the Johnson-led spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. Morgan is also producing. According to THR, the studio picked up the project in June.
It’s hard to imagine what this might be. Will Santa go on a revenge killing spree a la the John Wick franchise, avenging the death of Rudolph? Or will it go down the cheekier Bad Santa route, with Johnson portraying a markedly less jovial version of the big, jolly guy? Whatever it is, as long as it doesn’t try to replace Die Hard as the unequivocal best Christmas action film ever made, we’re game.
Kasdan and Johnson’s previous team-ups, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and its sequel, Jumanji: The Next Level, grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide. This new Johnson and Kasdan team-up is expected to come out in time for the holidays in 2023.