Gibson Christmas movie films in Carp

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – More than a hundred cast and crew members moved in to the Diefenbunker Museum this morning (March 4) turning the Cold War museum in to a shooting range for scenes for the 2020 Mel Gibson film currently titled Fatman.

Since early February a film production crew has been filming in various spots around the Ottawa Valley and the movie’s star, Oscar-winning actor and director Mel Gibson has been spotted in various spots around the city and country.

Today more than 15 large trucks, trailers and recreational vehicles took over the Diefenbunker Museum parking lot for a day of filming exterior and interior scenes for the movie. The movie, currently called Fatman, centres on a rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus, played by Mel Gibson, who is fighting his business’ decline. Meanwhile, a disgruntled young boy has hired a hitman to kill the jolly fat man.

The movie is being directed by Eshom and Ian Nelms who also wrote the movie and stars Gibson, Walton Goggins and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

Early in February the film was working in Pakenham and Mississippi Mills. Today, filming was taking place in Carp and West Carleton Online was there.

Gibbons was not needed for the scenes being filmed at the Diefenbunker, but Goggins, who is playing the hitman named Skinny Man according to the website, was.

Actor Walton Goggins was in Carp this morning fiming scenes for the Mel Gibson movie Fatman. Courtesy
Actor Walton Goggins was in Carp this morning fiming scenes for the Mel Gibson movie Fatman. Courtesy

Goggins, 48, has a long list of acting credits and has won a Critics’ Choice Award for his performance in the HBO comedy series Vice Principals. He received an Emmy nomination for his role of Boyd Crowder on the television series Justified. He has also acted in the movies Tomb Raider, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained and Lincoln to name a few.

Unfortunately, shooting was behind for the day so West Carleton Online was unable to interview any of the directors, but did speak with Josh (we did not get his last name at the time), a Carp resident working transportation for the movie.

He said his responsibility was providing the 82 vehicles that would be needed for the production – both in the film and serving the production crew.

About 100 crewmembers including production assistants, camera operators, boom operators, grips, make-up people, actors and other crew people were on hand for the day’s shooting.

The Diefenbunker, through movie-magic, had been transformed in to a shooting range. The exterior scene involved Goggins walking from the Diefenbunker carrying a long briefcase that looked like it could hold a rifle, to a black Plymouth muscle car. Before getting in to the car, Goggins pulled out his cell phone and uttered the line “is there a problem?”

Famous hitman words.

The film crew shot the scene three times. It took the crew about an hour to unload their trucks, an hour to set up the scene and arrange the shot, and about 20 seconds to film the scene. The crew did three takes.

Following that, the crew would move in to the Diefenbunker to film some interior shots. The film is expected to be released sometime this year. We are just guessing, but we are going to go ahead and assume that release will be sometime during the Christmas season.

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