I’ll never forget the emotional roller-coaster that was Santa Claus: The Movie back in 1985.
The film, written by David Newman and directed Jeannot Szwarc, told a brand new origin story for the legendary holiday figure (David Huddleston), and placed him in the middle of an adventure when one of his wayward elves (Dudley Moore) heads to New York and goes into business with a ruthless toy tycoon (John Lithgow).
It was, quite simply, magical and my eight year old self ate it up.
But I’m all grown up now, and while I’m not going to say I don’t break this holiday classic out from time to time when the weather turns cold and the egg nog starts flowing, I’m much more likely to go for Krampus than Santa Claus.
Every so often a little factoid jumps out at me when I’m searching out stories for iHorror and this little tidbit has me eye-balling that old 80s movie in a whole different light.
It seems that Szwarc was not the first choice to direct the film. That honor actually belonged to horror master John Carpenter.
It seems that early in the process Carpenter had a falling out with the film’s producers. He not only wanted final cut of the film, but also wanted to write the score, as well.
Additionally, he wanted Brian Dennehy to take on the role of Santa Claus instead of Huddleston.
Can you imagine what the film would have looked like with Carpenter at the helm? Can you imagine creepy Lithgow going toe to toe with creepier Dennehy?!
Okay, okay, Santa and B.Z. never had a scene together in the film, but I’m betting Carpenter could have made it happen.
It might not have been a horror movie, but it certainly would have been very different!
I suppose we can’t dwell on what might have been, but I’ll certainly be watching Santa Claus: The Movie through a different lens in the future!