Violent Night: David Harbour Stars as Santa Claus in Blood-Soaked Thriller Inspired by Die Hard

Universal Pictures took to the stage at CinemaCon to offer a glimpse of what they'll be releasing over the next year and among them was something on no one's radar but which immediately made a splash, Violent Night, an action-thrller in the vein of Nobody and John Wick but starring Stranger Things' David Harbour as Santa Claus. In the film a family is kidnapped by mercenaries on Christmas Eve, leaving St. Nick the only one capable of saving them. Harbour is joined in the film by John Leguizamo (Encanto), Beverly D'Angelo (National Lampoon's Vacation), Alex Hassell (The Tragedy of Macbeth), and Edi Patterson (Righteous Gemstones).

Introducing the movie, a Focus Features release, Harbour said the following on stage: "Escape is great. I'm a big fan. But what about movies that make you sweat? Don't you love action movies? Who doesn't love a great action movie, right? How about Christmas movies? So, what about a movie that's a great action movie, and the greatest Christmas movie in one? Die Hard. F-cking Die Hard. Now what if...wait a minute, wait a minute. What if kick ass director Tommy Wirkola and the badass producers at 87North, you know, the maniacs who did Atomic Blonde and John Wick and Nobody and Hobbs and Shaw, were behind it all? And, wait a minute, what if I started in it as f-cking Santa Claus? Oh, do I swing a mother f-cking hammer? Yes. What you're about to see is not an actual trailer, I don't think, but you better not cry to somebody. You better not pout. I'm telling you why. Because Santa Claus is coming to town. Let's f-cking go "'s Cam Bonomolo was on hand to see the first footage from the film which he recapped as follows:

  • "From the creators of John Wick"
  • David Harbour is a kick ass Santa Claus who wrecks the halls when armed gun men take over a family's holiday and holds them hostage
  • The trailer is gory, violent, and very R
  • It's basically Die Hard with David Harbour's Santa as John McClane
  • "I'm jolly old Saint Nick," a bloodied Santa says. 
  • He kills one henchman with an electric tree Star and fries him.

Filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, the man behind Dead Snow, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Netflix's The Trip, directed the film from a script by Sonic the Hedgehog writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller. Production only recently wrapped on the movie which is set for a December 2, 2022 release date.