Violent Night Screenwriters on Cartoony Violence, Christmas Movie Influences, Being in Sync with One Another, and More

Violent Night
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Violent Night is a recent Christmas film that many can add to their holiday films list, especially if they have an itch for an R-rated Home Alone and Santa Clause film starring David Harbour as a grumpy Kris Kringle. The film received positive reviews from critics (read our review here) and moviegoers on Rotten Tomatoes, and it grossed $75 million worldwide at the box office from a budget of $20 million. We had the chance to chat with screenwriters Pat Casey & Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2) about the film, how the two work together, influences, and more.

Violent Night follows Santa Clause who must save Christmas for an affluent family that is being held captive inside their home. The film is brutal and bloody, and the screenwriters discuss going from working on a family movie to a violent one.

“We got hired to do the Sonic movies off of ‘Golan the Insatiable,’ which was wildly inappropriate for kids,” Pat Casey tells Nerd Reactor. “So then we had to convince them that we could do family-friendly stuff. And then once we did Sonic, everyone was like, ‘Oh, what’s your next family movie gonna be?’ And we were like, ‘We don’t want to only make family movies.’ Now, we had to convince people we could do an R-rated movie again.”

The film’s production was fast, and that included the writing process, but that didn’t stop the writers from paying homage to classic Christmas films.

“We had to write the movie very quickly for a variety of reasons,” Josh Miller said. “So we didn’t have a ton of time to go back and rewatch too many things. So we didn’t rewatch any Christmas movies, as crazy as that sounds, which ended up being the right way to do it. Because in a way, we were homaging all the Christmas tropes we remembered from dozens of movies and TV specials and Christmas episodes of TV shows.”

Check out the full interview below:

About Violent Night

When a team of mercenaries breaks into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage, the team isn’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.

Starring alongside David Harbour is John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Beverly D’Angelo, and Brendan Fletcher. It’s directed by Tommy Wirkola.

Violent Night is now available on VOD, Blu-ray, DVD and Peacock.

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