Santa Claus isn’t done killing his way through the naughty list. In an exclusive interview with The Wrap, Violent Night director Tommy Wirkola confirmed that a sequel to the Christmas action movie is in the works. When asked if there would be a follow-up, Wirkola said:
“Yes… We’re talking about it and we’re just making deals and getting everything in order.”
Wirkola also said that he, the producers, and writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller would be taking their time in developing the next installment in the series and talked a bit about what the movie will be like.
“We have time to really crack the script and figure out the story… And we have some ideas, me and Pat and Josh and the producers, we’ve been talking about where we want to take it and what we want to see… There’s stuff we left on the floor like the North Pole, Mrs. Claus, the elves… But story-wise I think we have a really, really cool idea that expands on the world and scope, but still keeping that tone that we love from the first one.”
Violent Night was a sleeper hit, earning $75 million worldwide on a $20 million budget, and there’s been talk of a sequel since it proved its staying power against Avatar: The Way of Water. I loved the movie, and I’m glad it did well, but I’m a little iffy on the prospect of a sequel. As much as I’d instinctively love to see David Harbour’s avenging Santa Claus tear through some more bad guys, I worry that it will diminish the first film. Violent Night feels like a complete story, one where all of the characters – even minor ones – have an arc, where Santa’s journey is finished by the end. The ordeal he goes through is also set up as an anomaly, something he’s never had to deal with before that turns out to be just what he needs to get the Christmas Spirit back. It feels a little cheap to do that again because this one was successful. I also like the way the Santa Claus lore is handled; we’re only shown bits and pieces of the mysticism and Santa’s backstory, just enough to give us an understanding of what’s going on without belaboring the point. If the sequel expands on this, the results could be more disappointing than what our imaginations created when the credits rolled. Even including Mrs. Claus risks demystifying someone spoken about in angelic terms who was looking out for Santa even when he didn’t know it. Of course, it could be great, and it’s heartening that the same creative team will be involved. But I think I’d prefer they let Violent Night exist on its own and make another movie with a similar tone and cool action. 87 North is on a roll, and I’d rather they parlay their success into making new action movies that live up to their hits rather than get boxed in by sequels.