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Bad Santa 2 lands 'Mean Girls' director Mark Waters

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Ron Batzdorff

Mark Waters is going from catty high-school cliques to sleazy yuletide crooks. The Mean Girls and Freaky Friday filmmaker is set to direct Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa 2, Miramax and Broad Green Pictures announced Tuesday.

Waters will work from a script by Johnny Rosenthal, Doug Ellin (Entourage), and Shauna Cross (If I Stay, Whip It).

Thornton, who was revealed to be reprising his role as a debaucherous thief masquerading as a mall Santa last week, will be joined by returning cast members Tony Cox and Brett Kelly.

Waters succeeds Terry Zwigoff, director of the original Bad Santa. The R-rated comedy received solid reviews and grossed $60 million in 2003, going on to become a cult favorite.

Bad Santa 2 is scheduled to start shooting in January, in time for a 2016 holiday release.

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