Tim Allen Wanted To Murder Santa Claus But Disney Vetoed It, Actor Says

The original script for the 1994's Christmas movie The Santa Clause was much darker.


1994's The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen is one of the best-known and most-beloved family Christmas movies. It is generally a very wholesome and family-friendly film, but that wasn't always the case, it seems. Allen told Jimmy Fallon that in the original script, Allen was going to murder Santa Claus by shooting him because he thought he was a burglar.

"The original Santa Clause was a little darker ... I actually shot and killed Santa; he fell off the roof because I thought he was a burglar. And the kid says, 'You just killed Santa!' And I said, 'He shouldn't have been on the roof!"

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He and the writers took the idea to then-Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the executive said that direction wouldn't fly. "We can't start a Disney movie with you murdering Santa," Allen said he recalls Katzenberg telling him at the time.

Allen said he was surprised that Katzenberg shut it down because Disney films often kill the parents of characters as a storytelling device. We all remember Bambi...

In the final version, Allen's character, Scott Calvin, encounters Santa Claus on his roof. Santa, spooked by Calvin, falls and slips off the roof to his apparent death. Calvin climbs down off the roof and discovers Santa's body vanished, with only his trademark suit remaining. Inside the suit is a note regarding what Calvin will eventually come to learn is "the Santa clause," which in the fiction states that the person who puts on the suit becomes Santa. Calvin eventually reluctantly agrees to become Santa, driven by his love for his son, and in the end it's a nice story about love and the importance of family.

Allen turns in a nice performance in The Santa Clause, but he was only acting. In real life, Allen doesn't like children and would never fit the model of Santa.

"I'm literally the last guy in the world who should be Santa Claus. I don't like kids all that much. I'm not going to hurt them; I won't say inappropriate stuff. Just don't like 'em," he said.

Allen also recalled a day of filming where he was in the Santa suit smoking a cigarette, and he told director John Pasquin to "keep those frickin' kids away from me!" He remembers the child actors on set apparently actually believing he was Santa, and asking him all kinds of questions as if he was the real Santa. Pasquin, the director, apparently had to inform Allen not to swear so much while wearing the Santa suit.

The Santa Clause was followed up by sequels The Santa Clause 2 in 2002 and The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause in 2006.

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