The beginning of 'The Santa Clause' was almost very dark indeed

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Santa Clause (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Tim Allen’s 1994 festive standard The Santa Clause remains a solid fixture in the Christmas movie calendar.

With Allen playing the high-powered toy company executive with more time for the children of his customers than his own, he’s forced to adopt the role of Santa after the real one slips and falls off his roof.

He’s then summoned to the North Pole to take on the duties of Father Christmas in preparation for a cockle-warming, feel-good ending.

But the original opening was a rather darker proposition.

(Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Appearing on The Tonight Show, Allen told host Jimmy Fallon the less festive version of events.

“The original Santa Clause is a little darker, written by two comedians, and I actually shot and killed Santa, in the original movie,” he said.

“He fell off the roof because I thought he was a burglar.”

Instead, the incident is rather toned down, and instead of falling to his death with gunshot wounds, he simply ‘disappears’ into the yuletide ether.

“The head of Disney at the time, [Jeffrey] Katzenberg said, ‘Well, we can’t start a movie like that,’” Allen went on.

“And I said, ‘Why not?’ And he said, ‘We can’t start a Disney movie with you murdering Santa.’”

Suppose he had a point.

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