Kurt Russell doesn’t seem like the kind of actor born to play Santa Claus; he’s too macho, with his John Wayne-style drawl, to hang out with elves and delivering presents. And yet there he is, doing his second go as a more studly Kris Kringle in The Christmas Chronicles 2, the sequel to Netflix’s Yuletide hit from two years back (and, according to its star, a bit reminiscent of, uh, The Passion of the Christ). But one person on Twitter has a theory, one that makes Russell playing Santa seem like perfect casting.
MacReady survived the end of "The Thing" because he was picked up by Santa and brought to the North Pole
MacReady then killed Santa for being a bitch, assumed Santa's role, and his adventures are chronicled in "The Christmas Chronicles" films.
These films = same universe pic.twitter.com/canEu1u96V
— kevinbiegel (@kbiegel) November 25, 2020
The theory involves MacReady, the grizzled badass Russell played in John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, about a shape-shifting, super gross alien that picks off a research crew in Antarctica, one by one. The movie ends ambiguously, with MacReady and one of his colleagues, Keith David’s Childs, alone together, unsure if either of them is secretly possessed by the alien, if neither of them is or what. But, Twitter user Kevin Biegel posits, maybe we have our answer, and that answer has been supplied by The Christmas Chronicles cycle.
“MacReady survived the end of ‘The Thing,” Biegel writes, “because he was picked up by Santa and brought to the North Pole MacReady then killed Santa for being a b*tch, assumed Santa’s role, and his adventures are chronicled in ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ films. These films = same universe.”
Why not! They do have almost the same beard! Of course, believing this — even in a tongue-in-cheek way — does ruin one of cinema’s great open-ended endings — a rare case where running the credits before a resolution has been reached doesn’t seem like cruel and cheap and lazy. On the other hand, it is amusing to imagine MacReady forced into a second life as a symbol of generosity and gregariousness.
And then there’s this: Along with Escape from New York, also by John Carpenter, The Thing helped Russell — who first became a star as a child and then teen actor, appearing in Elvis movies and ludicrous Disney comedies like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes — utterly bulldozer his squeaky clean image. It would be funny if, having escaped the hell of family fare movies, Russell got sucked back in, and all because he made The Thing.
The Christmas Chronicles 2, which also features his real-life longtime partner Goldie Hawn, can now be streamed on Netflix. The Thing, however, is not part of any streamer’s subscription. But one can, however, head to Disney+ and watch the young, amusingly square Russell in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Strongest Man in the World. If that’s one’s bag.