Claus And Effect
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES | Netflix launches a new festive franchise…
Are there five words in the English language more exciting than “Kurt Russell is Santa Claus”? Chris Columbus – the man behind yuletide classics Home Alone and Gremlins – thinks not. “He’s your dream Santa Claus,” Columbus tells Teasers. “It’s not Bad Santa. He’s incredibly charismatic, tough and confident when he needs to be.
And really frustrated at the depictions of him on Coca-Cola ads!”
Russell stars as Saint Nick in The Christmas Chronicles, a Netflix original about a brother and sister who put Christmas itself in jeopardy when their attempt to photograph Santa goes terribly wrong. Angry Birds’ Clay Kaytis is making his live-action debut in the director’s chair, but Columbus was there “24/7” as a producer after identifying some familiar qualities in Matt Lieberman’s script.
“It’s got a bit of Adventures In Babysitting in it; it’s got a bit of Home Alone; it feels a little like The Goonies at times. It’s very inspired by the John Hughes world that
I cut my teeth on as well,” says Columbus. “And it feels like Potter. It’s a North Pole unlike you’ve ever seen.”
Many of Columbus’ festive films tap into the dichotomy of Christmas – that, for some, it’s the most difficult time of year. And The Christmas Chronicles is no different.
“It’s a complicated time,” Columbus explains. “In this film there’s a chance that Christmas won’t exist in 2018. The theme of the film, and the theme of this particular Santa Claus, is: Christmas must endure.”
And endure it will if Columbus has his way, with plans for a wider Christmas-verse should the first film fly. “As we were making the film, I realised there was a much bigger world here. So I got excited about the potential of digging deeper, with maybe another film in the series, and treating the world of the North Pole and the mythology of Santa Claus with a seriousness that it’s never been treated with.” Christmas comes early in 2018.
ETA | 22 NOVEMBER / THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES LAUNCHES ON NETFLIX NEXT MONTH.
SLEIgH rIDE Kurt Russell the way you've always wanted to see him – as Santa.