See David Harbour As A Bloody Santa Claus In Wild Violent Night Movie

David Harbour stars as a John McClane-like Santa Claus in Violent Night.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

David Harbour rocketed to fame with Stranger Things after mere decades of trying to break through to audiences in supporting roles in movies and television. As Hawkins Chief of Police Jim Hopper, he charmed Netflix audiences and has remarkable chemistry with both Millie Bobby Brown as a parental figure and Winona Ryder as a romantic interest. Now, in the upcoming action-comedy film Violent Night, audiences will see David Harbour in a whole new light, as an ass-kicking Santa Claus. 

As you can see from the trailer above, Violent Night stars David Harbour as Santa Claus, in a version of the venerable holiday spirit that seems a little world-weary and definitely pretty fond of his booze. However, when a group of mercenaries led by a gun-toting John Leguizamo home invades a wealthy family in search of their millions of dollars in a private vault, it turns out that David Harbour is also extremely good at killing people (as long as they are naughty). It also seems that a little girl in the house still believes in Santa Claus and has a walkie-talkie that directly connects with him. 

Violent Night seems like a pretty silly movie, and it also seems like an awesome one. David Harbour has been pegged as a potential action star several times in the past, none of which have really fully seemed to stick. His turn as the rebooted Hellboy had the severe disadvantage of constantly being compared to Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman’s version of the character, and while his Red Guardian was well received in Black Widow, the movie has been relegated to something of a Marvel afterthought.

david harbour red guardian

But perhaps somewhat less so than fans might have thought. Unexpectedly, it was recently announced at Disney’s D23 event that the upcoming Thunderbolts movie would include David Harbour reprising his role as Red Guardian, as well as his semi-daughter Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). The Thunderbolts movie is still quite a bit of a way off, but at least we know we will get some more David Harbour at some point.

Violent Night is directed by Norweigan filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, who previously has made action oddities like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton and Dead Snow, the Nazi zombie comedy horror film that first got him mainstream notice. It is clearly the kind of film that will get the attention of a certain kind of action fan through the sheer weirdness of the premise “what if David Harbour were Santa Claus and he was in a holiday-themed Die Hard?” But truthfully, you don’t need much more than that premise to get attention. 

Violent Night will first premiere at the New York Comic Con on October 7, then have a wider American release on a slightly more holiday-appropriate December 2. Until then, we will just have to picture David Harbour as jolly Saint Nick breaking necks on our own and with the trailer.