If it was 1994 and you were asked which of the stars of Home Improvement was about to play Santa, you’d be forgiven for guessing wrong. While the jolly and bearded Richard Karn did eventually play Santa years later in A Dog For Christmas, it was the show's sarcastic lead, Tim Allen, that first donned the famous red suit on film. Now, nearly 30 years after the original, Tim Allen will be reprising his role as Santa for a Disney+ limited series titled, The Clauses. The show will continue the story of The Santa Clause franchise and introduce Kal Penn as a new lead character.
The original film saw Allen play Scott Calvin, a divorced dad whose only shared character trait with Santa Claus was his initials. After inadvertently causing the current Santa to fall off his roof, Scott is forced to pick up the mantle. After a rough start, Scott eventually comes to appreciate the importance of family and the true spirit of Christmas, mostly through the help of his son, Eric Lloyd, and Head Elf Bernard, David Krumholtz. The Santa Clause 2 introduced Elizabeth Mitchell as Carol, a love interest for Scott and the eventual Mrs. Claus. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause followed the familiar holiday formula of It’s A Wonderful Life, and brought in Martin Short as the villainous Jack Frost to replace Scott as Santa.
Currently, the only returning cast announced for this limited series are Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell, but they will likely be joined by a few other familiar faces based on the plot. The Disney+ show takes place just before Scott’s 65th birthday, as he starts losing some of his magic and begins to realize that he needs to find a suitable replacement to take over as Santa Claus. While the franchise introduced a form of time travel in the third installment, it seems there’s no getting around aging. It is also interesting that 65 will be the retirement age for Santa considering how often he is portrayed as a much older man.
According to Variety, actor and former White House liaison Kal Penn will be joining the cast as a brand new character. Penn has had quite a varied career, but he is still often associated with the Harold & Kumar franchise, which concluded with its very own holiday romp, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. In The Clauses, Penn’s character Simon Choksi is described as an ambitious game inventor and devoted single father, with aspirations of becoming the next Jeff Bezos. While not yet confirmed, it seems likely that Simon will end up being the perfect Santa replacement, with his journey mimicking Scott’s in the first film. He’s even got the right initials.
The Clauses is set to begin production this month and will air exclusively on Disney+ this holiday season.