There are many holiday movies that are worth watching every single year in order to relive the magic and memories that accompany it — but one new revelation might change the way that you see The Santa Clause forever more. According to star Tim Allen, the original Santa Clause plot was incredibly dark, and kicked off with his character murdering good old St. Nick after confusing him for a burglar.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Allen revealed that the beloved Christmas movie was written as more of a black comedy, which was exemplified by the way that his character, Scott Calvin, first sees Santa. "The original Santa Clause is a little darker, written by two comedians, and I actually shot and killed Santa, in the original movie," the actor revealed.
Allen continued: "And he fell off the roof, because I thought he was a burglar. And he gives me the card, and the whole movie starts. And the kid goes, 'You just killed Santa.' And I said, 'He shouldn’t have been on the roof when he wasn’t invited.'"
If you think that plot twist sounds particularly dark for a family film, well, you're not alone. "I’m laughing so hard, but the head of Disney at the time, [Jeffrey] Katzenberg says, 'Well, we can’t start a movie like that,' and I said, 'Why not?' And he said, 'Well, we can’t start a Disney movie with you murdering Santa Claus,'" Allen recalled. The comedian, however, didn't think it would be that big of an issue, nothing that in many of Disney's films, they "kill all the parents" before the action starts.
In the now-iconic final version of The Santa Clause, Scott is a workaholic executive of a toy company who accidentally knocks Santa off of the roof. After he discovers a card instructing a bystander to "put on the suit" if anything happens to him, Scott discovers that thanks to the "Santa clause," he is technically the new Santa Claus, and has agreed to take on all of the jolly, present-giving responsibilities that the position entails.
Sure, the final plot of the film is definitely a little strange and full of plot holes, but at least it wasn't as traumatizing as seeing someone murder Santa on Christmas night.
But if you were hoping that Allen would ruin your childhood favorite just a little bit more, the comedian also revealed that he considers himself "the last guy in the world" who should play Santa, as he doesn't like children very much. "I’m not going to hurt them. I don’t say inappropriate stuff, I just don’t like them," he told Fallon.
Of course, this posed a bit of a problem when it came time to film scenes at the North Pole, as most of the elves in Santa's workshop were played by child actors.
"So these kids are asking me questions, [like] 'What does Santa eat? What do the elves eat?' And I go, 'How the hell would I know what they eat?' But all that comes out of my mouth, I said, 'Uh, reindeer I guess,'" Allen recounted of his struggle to answer his costars' many questions about Santa. "It’s the best I could come up with. 'Why do you like milk and cookies?' 'Because it takes the edge off the Jack and Coke.'"
Considering that The Santa Clause is, in general, much darker than most family-friendly holiday films, it seems somewhat appropriate that the process of developing it was not as merry and bright as fans may have thought. Still, Allen's comments about the movie's original plot and behind the scenes struggles might make it a little harder to enjoy the film with the same innocent excitement that we had as children.
However, if you're a humbug looking to add a little doom and gloom to the holiday season this year, Allen officially has you covered — after all, everyone loves a good holiday horror film, even if it was originally considered to be a feel-good family flick.