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'Violent Night' director Tommy Wirkola says film almost had Mrs. Claus post-credits scene

The "Santa Cinematic Universe" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

By Josh Weiss
(from left) Jason (Alex Hassell), Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo), Alva (Edi Patterson), Linda (Alexis Louder), Trudy (Leah Brady) and Santa (David Harbour) in Violent Night, directed by Tommy Wirkola.

It may no longer be Christmastime, but we're still getting presents. Yesterday, news broke that a sequel to Violent Night is currently in the very early stages of development at Universal Pictures. Tommy Wirkola is expected to return to the director's chair, working off another screenplay from the writing duo of Pat Casey and Josh Miller.

Catching up with SYFY WIRE over Zoom Monday afternoon, Wirkola (known for genre free-for-alls Dead Snow, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) voiced his hopes of expanding the holly jolly cinematic mythos fronted by David Harbour with the introduction of holiday touchstones audiences didn't get to see in the first movie like Mrs. Claus, the elves, and Santa's North Pole base of operations.

As we already know, Mrs. Claus nearly showed up in a much larger climax that was ultimately scrapped due to budgetary concerns. "There was a big [ending]. Mrs. Claus shows up with the sleigh and the reindeers, Scrooge has escaped in a helicopter, there's a fight, there's a bazooka involved," Wirkola told us. "It was just clear to me right away when I read it, 'There's no way we can afford this,’ because we had a very tight budget to fit it into. So it was basically out of a need to bring the cost down."

The filmmaker adds that while "a few" names might have been thrown around for Kris Kringle's better half, the production " just never had the luxury" of seriously casting the part. Once the aforementioned aerial dogfight was canned, the team considered introducing Santa's spouse in a Marvel Cinematic Universe-style post-credits stinger.

"I think at one point, there was a discussion, ‘Do we shoot a coda with Mrs. Claus and be at the end and to show her there?’" Wirkola exclusively revealed. "But we decided, ‘Okay, let's just create this movie as it is, as we planned, and if we're lucky enough and people embrace it, we can go back and revisit that in a bigger way and do it right. So yeah, we just decided to wait a little bit longer on that."

Violent Night does feature a brief mid-credits scene, in which wannabe influencer Bert, aka "Bertrude" (Alexander Elliot), informs his followers that Santa is very real and warns the public against ending up on the dreaded Naughty List.

Speaking with SYFY WIRE in late 2022, Casey and Miller touched on the exciting possibilities offered up by this version of St. Nick, who started life as a bloodthirsty Viking warrior before he began delivering presents to children on Christmas Eve. In particular, Miller alluded to the fact that the eventual casting for Mrs. Claus will not be limited to white actors. 

"The Vikings went down to Africa, they discovered North America hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus, ‘discovered it,’" he said. "So really, the sky's the limit for who could play Mrs. Claus because who's to say at what point in his past he met her and where?"

Violent Night is now streaming on Peacock and available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray. A sequel is in development.