The film at last reveals the incredible, never-before-seen answer to every child’s question: “So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?” The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic – a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero: Santa’s youngest son, Arthur. When this amazing operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, the least capable Claus embarks on a hilarious, exciting rogue mission against the clock to deliver the last present before Christmas morning dawns.
Hugh Laurie joins the cast as Steve, Santa Claus’ eldest son. “Hugh is marvelous as Steve,” says co-screenwriter Sarah Smith. “The character is incredibly cool and slightly in love with himself – the kind of character that just doesn’t quite get it. But Hugh completely gets it, and gave us a beautiful and funny performance.”
“Steve isn’t the head of the operation. As part of the Claus family, he plays a subordinate Claus,” says Laurie. “But that is a terrible joke, unforgiveable, and if you use that, I will sue.”
Steve is the hereditary heir to the Claus reign. He’s extremely qualified for the job, having introduced high-tech efficiency, military-style precision and the S-1: a mile-wide, invisible sleighship. Steve has dreamed of being Santa all his life; he’s even redesigned the Santa suit into something more akin to Versace than Saint Nick. But Steve might still have a little catching up to do in the heart department.
“For Steve, running Christmas is the biggest challenge he could ask for,” says Smith. “It’s like he’s running FedEx, UPS, and an army, all at once. But he’s frustrated, because he can’t take what he sees as his rightful place as Santa Claus.”
“Steve takes himself a bit too seriously – he’s sort of laughable at times, because he gets it so wrong,” says Laurie, “But we all do that from time to time. He’s a very confident fellow who has plans for modernizing and updating the operation – he’s looking to run a state-of-the-art Christmas and he’s impatient with the softer, fluffier sides of the holiday. He’s driven to maximize the gift-giving. He might not have all the social skills you’d want in a boss, but he’s just doing things the way he thinks they ought to be done.”
Opening across the Philippines in Dec. 08 in 3D and regular cinemas, “Arthur Christmas” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.