Chief Tommy Wirkola Meet: Rough Night

We chat with Tommy Wirkola, the executive of Savage Night, around his delightfully R-rated modern Christmas activity flick and working with David Leitch.

Santa gets to be an impossible activity legend in Rough Night, the modern film from executive Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Seekers). David Harbor stars as Santa Claus, an alcoholic and negative ancient gift-giver who in any case fulfills his obligation to convey presents to children each year. Be that as it may, when he comes over a prisoner circumstance including the family of a youthful young lady who still accepts within the enchantment of Christmas (Leah Brady), Santa chooses to require on the scalawags and their evil pioneer, the so-called "Mr. Miser," played by John Leguizamo.

Chief Tommy Wirkola brings break even with parts occasion soul and bone-crunching activity to Rough Night. The film carries a sincere veneration for the occasion and for the character of Santa Claus, indeed when reveling a level of bloodlust fitting for an R-rated motion picture from 87North, the generation studio behind such hits as No one and Bullet Prepare.

Whereas advancing the discharge of Savage Night, Tommy Wirkola talked to Screen Rage almost his work on the film. He talked almost amassing the film's stellar cast, which moreover incorporates Beverly D'Angelo and Alexis Louder, and shared how his relationship with David Leitch dates back to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Seekers (for which Leitch coordinated moment unit activity arrangements). He moreover talked about a few behind-the-scenes stories from the generation of Savage Night and unveils the area of a few Easter Eggs for eagle-eyed watchers to spot when they at last observe the motion picture (indicate: they're within the upper room!).

Tommy Wirkola on Violent Night

Screen Rage: Savage Night is fantastic. I think approximately the total, "Is Pass on Difficult a Christmas motion picture?" thing. This can be a Christmas motion picture.

Tommy Wirkola: It's definitely a Christmas movie, yes!

It plays the activity straight, it plays the comedy for comedy, and it plays the holiday subjects so truly that it made me feel warm and fluffy, indeed when Santa's crushing individuals within the head with a pound.

Tommy Wirkola: I'm so glad to hear you say that, because that was the goal: how can you make a crazy Christmas action movie with all this extreme stuff you want to put in there, but still have you leaving it filled with Christmas spirit? That was the goal, at least.

What drew you to the thought of Santa as an action hero?

Tommy Wirkola: Well, there were a few things, to be honest. When they sent me the script, they did say, yeah, "It's like Die Hard with Santa Claus." I was like, "Okay, that sounds cool, but it could also end up being on the cheesy side if done wrong." I read the script, I loved it. It had all the action you would expect. It had the humor and the edge, but it also had a big beating heart. That was actually my way in. I was like, "Yeah, I want to do this because if we get the Christmas movie nature of it right, the beating heart between Santa and the little girl and their relationship, we can get away with everything else. We can go as crazy as we want, and we can really make a Christmas movie that stands out." Yeah, that was the goal. And that's what was appealing to me; to really try to make it feel like a Christmas movie, but at the same time, just go to crazy places and make a thrilling action film at the same time.

The motion picture wouldn't work on the off chance that you didn't have the correct Santa, I think.

Tommy Wirkola: That is true.

Was it continuously David? Let me know around the casting handle.

Tommy Wirkola: It was! It's a boring answer and sounds like I'm making it up, but it was one of those cases where really early on, me, producers, and the studio were [looking] through names and what agents are suggesting. And somebody said, "Oh, wait, what about David Harbour?" It was one of those moments where we just looked at each other and it's like, "Oh my God, he's absolutely perfect." We sent him the script, and he was shooting in New Orleans at the time, a Netflix film. He read it; he loved it. I Skyped with him two days later, and he really got what the film was supposed to be, and he got the humor and the heart of it all. He was in very early on. That was kind of what solidified it for the studio. From then on, it was kind of just, "Alright, let's get this movie made!"

I know usually from 87 North, they're 10/10 when it comes to activity, and David Leitch is creating. Let me know around, inside that John Wick/Nobody kind of DNA, making it your motion picture, particularly in terms of the activity.

Tommy Wirkola: Dave and Kelly (McCormick) and Guy (Danella), the producers, they're fantastic collaborators. And I know Dave from way back! He actually did Second Unit on Hansel & Gretel. And we became friends. And he became, obviously, one of the biggest directors in the world. And rightfully so! And we stayed in touch. We were always talking about doing something together, and then they sent me this script. Honestly, they're ideal collaborators. When people ask me what makes 87 unique, I always say it's that they truly have a big, huge love for action movies, and they know action movies. They really want to make amazing action films. So when you go in there and meet with them and discuss the script, it's all about: how can you make this as good as you possibly can? How can you make this stand out? And they really wanted to make R-rated entertainment, which is rare these days, to embrace the R. And so all that stuff really appealed to me, of course. But they also know me, and they watched my movies and they know what I can do. The Christmas movie nature of it was important, and also, as you know if you've seen my movies, I do like gore! And I like to mix it with humor. That's part of what I love, and I think I can do well, and they were on board with that from day one. Again, I'm sounding like a cliche, but it's one of those instances where there was great collaboration all around, and they really trusted me. And of course, I'm also going to listen to them when it comes to action, because they know what they're doing. It was truly a joy to do this film with them.

I've listened a few frightfulness stories. You've never had to bargain with a few fellow going with, "Yes, can we make it PG, perhaps attempt it within the alter?" Never had to bargain with that?

Tommy Wirkola: No. I've been very lucky. And I do some of my films in Europe, and it's easier there. There's not a studio, per se. I have to say, Universal on this one were amazing. There were times when we sent the script, after rewrites, and it was like, "They're probably going to say no to this, or no to that," but they were like, "No, go for it!" I think they knew that if this film could succeed, you would really have to just swing for the fences. And they were so supportive. For example, when we rewrote and put in the Home Alone sequence, and what they go through there, there was never any pushback. They were always just, "Yeah. Beautiful, go for it!" Which was so refreshing. And the movie, I think it really shows in the film, that we had the freedom we had. I think it really helps the film.

That Domestic Alone arrangement? I was on the floor chuckling!

Tommy Wirkola: That's good, that's what we wanted! It was so fun to shoot, too. It was us, basically, just saying, "What would really happen if you set these traps as you see in Home Alone?" I always wondered... When I was a kid, I obviously loved it, but when I got older, it was like, "No way would you survive that?" So we didn't really go crazy with the traps. We just went, alright, this is what would happen if you did these things to human beings. That was a lot of fun.

Are you a Christmas fellow?

Tommy Wirkola: Oh yeah, for sure. I'm from the north of Norway, where we have very classical Christmases. It's always snowing. It's always cold. You stay inside, light the fire, read, and watch a lot of movies. Christmas has always been special to me. Because it's so cold and the sun disappears for two months, it's very dark, you don't go out very much in that time, you do end up watching a lot of films, like I said. That really shaped me and my love for movies, and Christmas movies especially. For example, the 23rd of Christmas, the day before Christmas Eve, and Norwegian television, I don't know for what reason, but they always show National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It's one of my favorite Christmas movies ever. That's why it was so much fun bringing in Beverly D'Angelo into the fold, as kind of a tribute to that. Yeah, it turned out all those years watching Christmas Vacation came to its conclusion with this film!

She's extraordinary. It feels like she had her possess author or something.

Tommy Wirkola: The first scene where we see her and she's walking back and forth in the hallway swearing a lot, a lot of that was her, it was her own stuff. She really went for it. We were just looking at each other going, "Oh, where did that come from?" But I really think she enjoyed doing that kind of role, for sure. And I have to mention John (Leguizamo), too, he's such a joy to work with. Funny, he brought it a lot of himself to the character. He loves to ad-lib, and a lot of his one-liners are in there. And he just really made that character come alive.

Let me know a few of your occasion favorites and praises you were able to sneak in.

Tommy Wirkola: Like I said, Christmas Vacation was a big one, and Die Hard, obviously, because of the premise of the film, it's got a lot of similarities, and Home Alone, which we talked about. I guess those are the three big ones. There's a lot of actually... The production designer loves Easter Eggs. So he's hidden a lot of Easter Eggs throughout the movie in sets and in the design. Like, in the attic, in the Home Alone sequence, they placed stuff here and there from Christmas movies. I'm not going to say what they are, but hopefully people will catch them all in the end!

About Violent Night

An first class group of soldiers of fortune breaks into a family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everybody prisoner interior. In any case, they aren't arranged for a shock combatant: Santa Claus is on the grounds, and he's almost to appear why this Scratch is no holy person.

Check out our other Savage Night interviews here:

Another: 18 Odd Christmas Motion pictures You Overlooked Existed

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