There was even a sequel written, and Will had a $29 million (£21m) offer to reprise his role as Buddy the Elf, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
But don’t expect to ever see it: Will told THR he didn’t like the premise.
“I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money,’” he told the magazine. “And I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.’”
However, as The Daily Beast noted, co-star James Caan last year said there was more to the story.
Will, he said, didn’t get along with filmmaker Jon Favreau.
“We were gonna do it, and I thought ‘Oh my God, I finally have a franchise movie. I can make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do,’” Caan told 92.3 The Fan last year.
“The director and Will didn’t get along very well. Will wanted to do it, and he didn’t want the director. He had it in his contract. It was one of those things.”