‘Violent Night’ Director Breaks Down Final Fight Between David Harbour’s Santa and John Leguizamo’s Scrooge (Exclusive Video)

Tommy Wirkola said that he wanted the clash to be a real “showstopper”

“Violent Night” was one of the most deliriously enjoyable movies of last year – a wild, violent, rip-roaring Christmas yarn featuring an all-time great Santa in the form of David Harbour’s cursing, drinking, former Viking iteration. And now, thanks to the new Blu-ray release of the film (out Tuesday, Jan. 24), you can learn how the madness was put together. And as a behind-the-scenes clip of the final fight makes abundantly clear, it was not easy to make a movie this fun. Watch the clip above.

The fight happens late in the film, between Harbour’s Santa and Scrooge (John Leguizamo), the leader of the band of thieves. This is a desperate, bloody brawl. And it is brutal. The only thing that was more brutal than the fight itself was filming it.

“It was by far the hardest fight to shoot, and only because it was minus 25 to 30 Celsius every day,” director Tommy Wirkola told TheWrap. “We shot outside at night in Winnipeg. The actors were grumpy, the crew was grumpy, everybody was uncomfortable. But it made it look great. And obviously the snow, the ice, the trees, all that’s real, and you can see it and feel it with the actors. And it was a scene that David and John trained together for a long time. And normally they train with the stunt performers separately and bring them in, but here they trained together.”

Wirkola said that he wanted the fight to be a real “showstopper,” especially after the sequence earlier in the film where Santa kills a bunch of mercenaries in spectacularly violent fashion. (Yes, there is a woodchipper.) “I really want this one to have an emotional drive to it,” Wirkola said.

The subplot in which Scrooge hates Christmas (for reasons too good to give away here) was not a part of the script. Wirkola added that bit.

“We really tried to give him a backstory and hate for Christmas and reason for it, and not just as a joke, but as really a serious character moment for him,” he said.

This added character motivation meant that the final fight, for Leguizamo’s character, would have even more weight. “While others are starting to believe [Santa is real], he’s still hesitant,” Wirkola said.

During the final fight, though, that changes.

“I really wanted him to find that scroll, come to the realization, Yes, this is Santa Claus. If I kill Santa, I can end Christmas once and for all. And that is more important than any gold for him. We wanted that fight to really have an emotional drive to it so we have flames and snow and ice and make it really epic. Hopefully you can really have a tense feeling in your stomach and you can really feel it instead of just being impressed by the choreography and the gore and the action” Too be honest, though, that stuff is very impressive too.

“Violent Night” will release Tuesday, Jan. 24, on Blu-ray. It is available to stream now on Peacock and on-demand.