Tommy Wirkola Gives Audiences Easter Eggs for Christmas on ‘Violent Night’

Director Tommy Wirkola destroys the hall violent nighta celebratory action film with all the trimmings and a few genre ho-ho-homages.

“All respect to Universal, but I’m surprised they let us do our job,” he enthuses. “They didn’t say no. ‘Tommy , this might be too much.” They were like, ‘Go for it, go for it’. It was the first screening at Universal and I was pretty sure there would be some backlash because it had everything, but they loved it. “

violent night Watch David Harbor dress up as Santa and get involved in a robbery.

I caught up with Wirkola to talk about this film, the gift he left for fans of the genre, and what he thinks would make the perfect double bill.

Simon Thompson: I had a lot of fun with this and the audience that watched it together rapped it up. Few movies I’ve seen this year have had such an enthusiastic reaction from the public.

Tommy Wirkola: I have hardly seen it with a crowd yet. This is our second Beyond Fest here in LA.

Thompson: when trailer When it went online, the reaction was staggering. It spread like wildfire on social media. did you know that

Wirkorra: We all felt like the trailer really blew up. They were recording and I watched some of them and it was a lot of fun. Kudos to Universal for cutting the trailer because it felt like they captured the essence of the movie, and trailers don’t always do that. When I got the report, it had 20 million views on its official universal page since its release, and it’s probably more now. This is pretty crazy.

Thompson: The casting in this one is very important and David is great as Santa. Was he compelling enough to take the role or did you just accept it from the start?

Wirkorra: He was the first man I went to. I think it’s normal to say he’s a nice guy, but he really was.We had our first casting meeting and sat down and looked up his name and someone brought up David Harbor and we sent it to him and he was filming Netflix
A movie in New Orleans at the time. Ironically, he had to be really thin for that and had his head shaved. We had a conversation with him on his Skype two days after he received the script and he loved it. He understood the tone we were trying to hit and liked our view of Santa Claus. David was there very early on and really shaped what we do. We rewrote it, but he wanted to get his perspective on Santa and his journey, so we had a lot of fun creating Santa and fitting it into David.

Thompson: I didn’t know Beverly D’Angelo was in it until I saw the movie.she is strongly related National Lampoon’s Christmas HolidaysHas she had much persuasion to return to the genre?

Wirkorra: No, not at all. She loved the script and the role. She saw us trying to make a new type of Christmas movie with an edge and humor. She loved the idea of ​​her playing that type of character in her first introductory scene where she was walking up and down her hallway. Her 80% of that swearing was her improvisation. She had some great phrases in there. National Lampoon’s Christmas Holidays It’s the best Christmas movie. For some reason every year on Norwegian TV he is aired on December 23rd, so I watch it every year. Beverly has a great sense of timing and loved the idea of ​​playing a very dark and foul-mouthed character.

Thompson: You are known for pushing the boundaries of your work.I’m a big fan of yours dead snow movie.When violent nightwere there boundaries where you questioned that you were pushing too much? Or were there cases where people wanted you to push things further?

Wirkorra: Above dead snow The movies, especially the second one, felt like they had no boundaries, and that’s what appealed to me. In this regard, I honestly felt that if I could get the heart of the film right, the Christmas element, I could do whatever I wanted with the rest. Again, kudos to Universal, but I was surprised that they let us do the work. They never said no. They never said, “Tommy, this might be too much.” They were like, “Let’s just do it.” Give it a try. ‘ At the first showing at Universal, it was all there. I was pretty sure I was going to get some backlash, but they loved it. If that balance is achieved, anything will work. I believePeter Jackson and Sam Raimi are my biggest inspirations for this kind of stuff. Evil Dead II When brain death Well, watching those movies and how you can combine extreme gore and horror with laugh-out-loud moments. shaped. I always go back to it. Watch these movies and you’ll see that anything is possible with the right tone.

Thompson: violent night It was originally marketed as die hard When home alone With Santa, I realized I think there are a few nods to that festive action classic. Was it on purpose or by chance? Anything else?

Wirkorra: The security guard called Al was always in the script, so I’m not entirely sure if that was intentional, but I think it was. is clearly die hardAgain, it’s always a balance. I don’t want to overdo it. You want to find your way and pay homage, but at the same time do something new and with a fresh twist. Of course, the fact that it is Santa Claus gives us that chance. will give you of course, home alone A sequence that is one of my favorites.Again, it’s a movie I loved growing up and had the opportunity to do something crazy with it. die hard, home aloneWhen christmas holidays Due to the nature of Beverly’s casting, there are many hidden Easter eggs on the production side and on set.

Thompson: I noticed that John Leguizamo’s line ends with “Christmas dies tonight”.that is halloween kills reference?

Wirkorra: No, it really wasn’t.I saw the new movie for the first time Halloween Only saw the movie and two others. That’s when I realized it was almost like that, but it wasn’t on purpose.It kind of sounded like Santa at the beginning of the movie, but in hindsight it was very Halloween atmosphere.

Thompson: When it comes to holiday movies, what movies do you think would pair perfectly with it? violent night as a double bill? Would you like to go with a traditional Christmas film like? Miracle on 34th Street or like an action movie long kiss good night?

Wirkorra: yeah definitely long kiss good nightIt makes for a great pairing. that’s what i go for.

violent night Limited to theaters from Friday, December 2, 2022.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonthompson/2022/11/30/tommy-wirkola-gifts-audiences-with-easter-eggs-for-christmas-in-violent-night/ Tommy Wirkola Gives Audiences Easter Eggs for Christmas on ‘Violent Night’

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