Chris Columbus is more than familiar with Christmas movies, having written Gremlins and directed the first two installments in the Home Alone series, which are the only two that really matter anyway. He also helmed Christmas with the Kranks, but the Tim Allen comedy doesn’t exactly occupy the same rarefied air as his previous three festive favorites after being savaged by critics and holding a paltry 5% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, the filmmaker has once again dived headfirst into the holiday season over the last couple of years, producing Netflix’s smash hit The Christmas Chronicles before taking a much bigger role on the sequel by directing and co-writing the script alongside Free Guy‘s Matt Lieberman. The whimsical adventure is currently the single most popular title on the streaming site around the world, so obviously talk has already turned to a third installment, something that the man who launched the Harry Potter franchise is hardly against.
“There’s a poignant moment in the movie where they’re watching the kids making snow angels, and Mrs. Claus says, ‘It’s so nice to have real children in the village again’. But you’re like, ‘We never explain why she feels that way. There’s some sort of hidden, slightly dark, melancholy thing in their past that we don’t know about’. And I love the fact that we don’t deal with it in this movie. It’s in some of the notes that Kurt wrote. We know what it is. Maybe it connects if we’re lucky enough to do a third. But it’s interesting because right now I can’t even think about what the third potential movie could be. But we’re certainly set up to open up this world even more.”
Based on recent comments by Columbus, Kurt Russell takes his preparations to play Santa Claus very seriously and has crafted an intricately detailed backstory for Jolly Old Saint Nick, who he wants to be the last character he ever portrays. The veteran star has so much more to give to the industry that he’s dedicated his life to, though, so fingers crossed Netflix plans to churn out at least a couple more of these flicks.
The Christmas Chronicles and its sequel are hardly groundbreaking additions to the seasonal back catalogue, but they’ve both pulled in huge numbers on the streaming service and have quickly become staples of the viewing schedule around this time of year. Whether Columbus comes back or not, it feels as though we haven’t seen the last of Russell’s Santa just yet.