Two years ago, Netflix subscribers were treated to Kurt Russell’s Santa Claus in The Christmas Chronicles, which saw his take on the Christmas icon having to team up with a pair of children to track down missing Christmas presents after his sleigh malfunctions. As of today, you can now witness the return of Russell’s Santa in The Christmas Chronicles 2, and director Christopher Columbus has shared just how seriously the actor prepared for the role.
When it came to bringing Santa Claus to life, Kurt Russell didn’t just focus on memorizing his lines and delivering them in a convincing manner. Oh no, according to Christopher Columbus, Russell went so far as to write out hundreds of pages about what this Santa had been through. As Columbus explained to Comicbook.com:
What's incredible about it is he truly treats it like method acting. I don't know if I told you, but he wrote 200 pages of the backstory of Santa Claus. About the mythology, about how he met Mrs. Claus. We couldn't use [all of it]. And that is his level of commitment. If you talk with him, he's very serious about this. He approaches it as if he were a method actor playing Santa Claus. And that's what got me so excited about the first movie, is that you're given that as a director and you've got to run with it. You've got to be like, 'This is a gift to be able to work with a guy who is so committed to his role.'
Commitment is the right word. It’s one thing to imagine some basic details about Santa Claus’ backstory to get into character, but to write what’s basically a short novel about his character’s life leading up to the events of the first Christmas Chronicles movie is astounding. While it’s understandable that not all of that material could be used, it’s days like these it’s unfortunate that Netflix doesn’t often release physical copies of its original movies. Because including even a few glimpses of those pages Russell wrote out would make for a great bonus feature.
It just goes to show how dedicated Kurt Russell is to his craft, and for the current generation of children, there’s a strong chance he could become their Santa Claus, like how Tim Allen was the Santa for many ‘90s and 2000s kids thanks to The Santa Clause. It’s definitely his most family-friendly project of late, with the last closest thing being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where he played Ego the Living Planet, the main antagonist. Russell’s other recent credits include The Hateful Eight, Deepwater Horizon and The Fate of the Furious.
For The Christmas Chronicles 2, Kurt Russell’s Santa Claus will be joined by his beloved Mrs. Claus, played by Russell’s real-life wife Goldie Hawn. Hawn cameoed at the end of the first Christmas Chronicles movie, but the sequel will have her version of Mrs. Claus directly involved in the main story. Darby Camp, Judah Lewis and Kimberly Williams-Paisley are also reprising their Christmas Chronicles roles, while Julian Dennison and Tyrese Gibson are among the new faces participating in The Christmas Chronicles 2. The follow-up sees Santa dealing with a mysterious troublemaker who’s threatening to permanently cancel Christmas.