The Christmas season is just around the corner, but there’s only one week left until we’re reunited with Santa Claus… well, a specific version of Santa Claus. Tim Allen is back as the bearded gift giver The Santa Clauses, the miniseries that will stream exclusively to Disney+ subscribers. Allen last played Scott Calvin in 2006 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, which received significantly more negative critical reception compared to the first two films. In fact, Allen has admitted that the reason the threequel failed to strike a chord with audiences was because it was “infected” by the success of its predecessors.
While talking about why he agreed to don the red suit again for The Santa Clauses and work with Last man standing Writer Jack Burditt when figuring out the miniseries’ story, Tim Allen mentioned that he wanted to “control it” on this project because “we overshot the runway on number three.” The THR interviewer later noted how Santa Claus 3 had a “different tone” compared to the previous films, to which Allen said:
While the 1994s Santa Claus had a production budget of around $22 million and the 2002s Santa Claus 2 had a production budget of around $65 million, there are different estimates of how much it cost to set Santa Claus 3 together, with some sources saying it was as low as $12 million. It seems unlikely if Tim Allen is right that the threequel had a lot more money to work with, although the downside is that he believes having the extra green available to increase the scale came at the expense of the story. About Santa Claus 3 had a decent budget or not, Allen made it clear that wasn’t the film’s only problem, as he was also unhappy that he and Martin Short, who played the main antagonist Jack Frost, didn’t share much screen time together.
Economically speaking, Santa Claus 3 did quite well for itself, grossing over $110 million worldwide, but because it was received so poorly by audiences, it marked the end of Santa Claus movie series. So when The Santa Clauses came, Tim Allen told those he worked with that they must somehow “explain it away and bring it back to magic.” It remains to be seen how the miniseries will compare to the movies, but it sounds like Allen had a more positive experience this time around.
The Santa Clauses, which dropped its first trailer last month, sees Scott Calvin decide just before turning 65 that he wants to retire from being Santa Claus, so he sets out to find his replacement. Other actors returning for the miniseries with Tim Allen include Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd and David Krumholtz (many people are particularly excited to see him back), while the line-up of newcomers includes Kat Penn, Austin Kane, Elizabeth Allen-Dick, Matilda Lawler and Laura San Giacomo. The first two The Santa Clauses episodes premiere November 16 on Disney+.