At some point in the last couple years, a bunch of people who work on movies all must have, independent of each other, seen either the “Very Venture Christmas” episode of The Venture Brothers or American Dad’s “Minstrel Krampus.” That’s the only explanation we can come up with for why Krampus, Santa’s demonic, child-punishing sidekick, is suddenly the hottest thing in Hollywood. First there was Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy Anti-Claus, which is going to star Haley Joel Osment in an unknown role. Then, Superman Returns writer Michael Dougherty announced his own Krampus project, which sounds like it’s going to be the same thing but without Haley Joel Osment.
Now, Deadline is reporting that Walden Media and Jim Henson Productions have teamed up to develop Happy Krampus!, a family-friendly take on the monstrous creature who whips and/or kidnaps bad children. The backstory of this one is that Krampus has been fired (by Santa, we assume) because parents no longer need a terrible beast to punish their children. Newly unemployed, Krampus moves to New York to try to convince everyone to celebrate something called Krampus Day instead of Christmas. Presumably, Krampus Day is a lot like Christmas except everyone gathers around a tree in the morning and gets whipped. Also, there are no gifts, and the only people who are happy are the ones who aren’t currently being whipped. Kids love it.