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Before donning the red suit, David Harbour was hesitant to play the not-so-jolly Santa Claus in “Violent Night.”

“My initial thoughts were like, ‘What the hell is this? I don’t know what you guys are talking about,'” Harbour told Variety at the red carpet premiere of “Violent Night” on Tuesday. “It was pitched to me as an action-comedy Christmas movie with Santa Claus at the center — who had a very different past and 10,000 years ago was a very different man — and that he has acquired a certain set of skills that he must use to fight bad guys in the future. I thought, ‘Wow, this is… I don’t know about this.'”

However, after meeting with director Tommy Wirkola and producers at 87North, Harbour “started to get excited” about the concept.

“There was something so special about the attempt that I thought, ‘Wow, if we can hit the right sweet spot with this, it’d be quite a leap — it’d be quite an achievement,'” the actor continued.

“Violent Night” follows Santa Claus as he attempts to rescue a family taken hostage by an elite team of mercenaries. Along with Harbour, the Christmas thriller stars John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Leah Brady, André Eriksen and Beverly D’Angelo.

“It was one of those moments where you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, this feels right,'” Wirkola said about Harbour. “There’s nobody else who could play this role.”

“He’s such a good action guy that it made me a little nervous,” said Leguizamo, who plays the villainous Scrooge. “I told the stunt coordinator, ‘Please make me look better than him.'”

The premise of “Violent Night” originated from a sketch on writers Josh Miller and Pat Casey’s cable access show in high school, where the two would often parody “Die Hard.”

“We did one episode where criminals took over the studio, so they were hosting the show,” Casey explained. “Then we would cut away to Santa, who landed on the roof and was going around killing the bad guys, so he could rescue us.”

Asked if there would be a “Violent Night” franchise like “Die Hard,” Miller said, “I don’t think it’s weird to say that was our hope from day one.”

Added Harbour, “It’s really up to the public, but yeah, I’d be down for more.”

“Violent Night” premieres in theaters Friday.