Haley Joel Osment will always be the kid who saw dead people from The Sixth Sense—that is his cross to bear until he stops looking exactly how you’d expect a grown-up version of the kid from The Sixth Sense to look. Since quietly bowing out of big studio filmmaking after 2003’s Secondhand Lions, Osment has kept busy with video game voice-over work, roles in miniseries like The Spoils Of Babylon, and with a part as a Montana hick on the run from the law—alongside Olympia Dukakis—in a little-seen movie called The Misadventures Of The Dunderheads.
No doubt hoping to top that last credit in sheer craziness, Osment has signed on to star in Anti-Claus. The brainchild of Kevin Smith, Anti-Claus is about the Krampus, a figure from Alpine folklore who visits naughty children around Christmastime, drags them back to his lair, and eats them. Smith expounded on the film’s cultural context:
“In America, we’re taught that nice kids gets presents from Santa and naughty kids get coal. But in countries like Germany, Austria, Bavaria, Romania and Hungary, Christmas is more metal than merry: Saint Nicholas brings a sack full of toys for good kids and the Krampus carries an empty bag for taking away the bad kids. I wanna see THAT Christmas movie. So rather than wait for it, we’ll make it instead.”
Osment will also be seen in Keven Smith’s Tusk, about a man who’s surgically transformed into a walrus. It is unknown what role Osment will play in Anti-Claus, but the film can safely be added to a list of movies you never thought you’d see starring the little kid from A.I.