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David Harbour to star as Santa Claus in Christmas thriller

Jess Hardiman

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David Harbour to star as Santa Claus in Christmas thriller

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

David Harbour is set to star as Santa Claus in a 'coal-dark' new Christmas film, which comes from the producers of the John Wick and Fast & Furious franchises.

Harbour has stepped into Santa’s iconic fur-lined red suit, but beyond appearances, his character is far from traditional – as we soon learn from his forceful headbutt in the trailer for Violent Night. 

Harbour’s Saint Nick is out to serve justice to those on his ‘naughty list’, who, on this occasion, happen to be a group of mercenaries attempting to steal millions the night before Christmas

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Watch the trailer here:

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At one point in the trailer, it looks like he’s about to strangle someone with a length of tinsel, before he later delivers another opponent a ‘lump of coal’ that turns out to be a grenade. 

Yup, while the film appears to straddle several genres - having been widely described as everything from a ‘black comedy’ through to a ‘holiday thriller’ - one thing’s for sure: this holiday caper will be PACKED with stunts. 

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This should come as no surprise, given that the movie comes from 87North, the bare-knuckle producers of Nobody, John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Bullet Train and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.  

A synopsis for the ‘coal-dark holiday action-comedy that says you should always bet on red’ says: “When a team of mercenaries breaks into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage, the team isn’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus (David Harbour, Black Widow, Stranger Things series) is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.” 

Looks like Santa's in for a rough ride with this one. Credit: Universal Pictures
Looks like Santa's in for a rough ride with this one. Credit: Universal Pictures

Directed by Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola from an original screenplay by Sonic the Hedgehog writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller, the film also stars Emmy winner John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson and Beverly D’Angelo. 

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Speaking to IGN about his latest project, Wirkola admitted he drew inspiration from another famously festive action flick. Yes, you know the one. 

"Obviously, Die Hard was a big influence," he said. 

"And for me, [John] McTiernan, just as a director, is one of my favourite directors, and we try to pay tribute [to] and honour that movie as much as we can. And then try to make our own thing and based on that. Our own crazy story." 

The film is out in cinemas in December. Credit: Universal Pictures
The film is out in cinemas in December. Credit: Universal Pictures
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As for his leading man, Wirkola added: "[Harbour] has great physicality, and he really wanted to train for it and do the action himself, to embrace it. 

“And as we know, like what [Violent Night producers] 87North did with [Bob] Odenkirk and Nobody, or even what David Leitch did with John Wick and Atomic Blonde, he really wanted to do that too. 

“And without spoiling anything, Santa's backstory kind of plays into how he trained. And he really went all in. 

“Harbour is an actor who gives everything and I really think you'll see that he did something special." 

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Violent Night is out in cinemas on 2 December. 

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Christmas, David Harbour

Jess Hardiman
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