News Bits: Santa, Mermaids, Stoner, Valerian

Bad Santa 2
“Entourage” film writer/director Doug Ellin says that after years of development, a sequel to the ultra dark comedy “Bad Santa” is apparently targeting a September or October start of shooting.

Work is currently underway on the script and they’re reportedly aiming for a tone akin to the hard ‘R’ of the first film. Billy Bob Thornton is already thought to be onboard. [Source: Collider]

Mermaids in Paradise
Good Universe has begun development of a comedy feature based on Lydia Millet’s satirical novel “Mermaids in Paradise”. Ed Helms, Mike Falbo, Danica Radovanov and Jonathan Krisel will produce.

“Portlandia” duo Krisel and Graham Wagner will direct and pen the script respectively for the feature about a couple who discover the existence of mermaids while celebrating their marriage in a tropical paradise. [Source: Variety]

Stoner
Blumhouse Prods., Film4 and Cohen Media Group are teaming for an adaptation of John Williams’ novel “Stoner”. Jason Blum, Charles S. Cohen and Daniel Battsek are producing.

The story follows the hardscrabble life of a farmer turned academic making his way through the first half of the 20th century. [Source: Variety]

Valerian
Lucy Besson has locked down a July 21st 2017 release date for his sci-fi feature “Valerian” based on the iconic French sci-fi graphic novel series. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star.

The story follows two spatio-temporal agents who help defend a utopian 28th century Earth and its neighboring planets from villains. [Source: Facebook]