Shane Black on using Christmas in his scripts

Shane Black Christmas

There’s the standard holiday movie-watching fare of A Christmas Story, Home Alone and Christmas Vacation, but why not settle in this year with a Shane Black movie? After all, Shane Black seems to always be wanting to get you in the Christmas spirit!

In a recent interview with Empire, Shane Black discussed how he fell into the Winter Wonderland and why he incorporates Christmas into nearly all of his movies. It’s been reported before that Black’s reliance on Christmas comes from the 1975 political thriller Three Days of the Condor. On using Christmas in his movies, Shane Black said, “You can wield Christmas in so many different ways…It can be used as this unifier, where you see the beauty of a city decked out in Christmas splendour, or you can use it as this bleak landscape against which those same festive decorations seem to belie something else, when the streets are deserted…”

Going back to 1987’s Lethal Weapon script, Black said Christmas provided “an ironic counterpoint to this plot about people who are savaging the suburban way of life.” Black took a break from the festivities in his script for a number of years, which means, unfortunately, there are no Christmas scenes in The Monster Squad or Last Action Hero.

With 1996’s The Long Kiss Goodnight, Shane Black would truly make Christmas action his calling card. Black says the Geena Davis action flick has elements of both It’s a Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, saying, “At the end, to me…she’s saving Whoville from this explosion that’s going to destroy it.”

Black’s directorial debut, 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, channeled some of the holiday season’s themes. “It’s a bizarre, ironic take on Christmas in LA. It’s not Christmassy at all, except it’s, ‘There are miracles to find if you look closely enough for them’.”

A surprising entrant in the Shane Black Christmas canon is Iron Man 3, but it was around this time that he felt it could be becoming a gimmick. However, he found elements of Ebenezer Scrooge in Tony Stark, likening the ghosts from A Carol Carol to Stark’s “reckoning.” Further, “There’s something about it, where you can get dark and dark and dark, as harsh as you want, and then summon up a little Christmas, and it gives you that pleasant out that you’re looking for.”

So maybe instead of Wet Bandits and Cousin Eddie, you and yours can sit down with Riggs and Iron Man!

What is your favorite Christmas scene in a Shane Black movie? Let us know below!

Source: Empire

About the Author

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.