Kurt Russell was de-aged for Netflix's 'Christmas Chronicles 2' similar to his look in 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' says director

Jason Guerrasio
·2 min read
the christmas chronicles part two2 netflix
Kurt Russell in "The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two." Netflix
  • Kurt Russell was given a younger look in a flashback scene in "The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two," hitting Netflix Wednesday.

  • Director Chris Columbus told Insider how it was pulled off.

  • "There was a little bit of tech, but I'd say 75% of it was makeup," Columbus said.

  • "It was kind of the same thing they did on the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie Kurt was in. He had the same makeup person," the director added.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Like most sequels, part two of "The Christmas Chronicles" is bigger and grander than the first with a more elaborate story.

And it turns out the Netflix holiday franchise also dabbled in some CGI thanks to de-aging tech this time around, too.

Director Chris Columbus revealed to Insider that for a flashback scene that tells the evolution of Santa Claus, star Kurt Russell was de-aged to look younger.

The flashback scene looks back on when Santa was Bishop St. Nicholas back in 312 AD and became a local hero due to his love of giving to others. In the scene, his hair and beard are dark, but what's more striking is Russell's face, which is noticeably younger looking.

Netflix didn't go to the lengths of Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" to make Russell look younger, but Columbus confirms CGI was used.

christmas chronicles 2
Kurt Russell de-aged in "The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two." Netflix

"There was a little bit of tech, but I'd say 75% of it was makeup," Columbus said of Russell's younger look. "It was kind of the same thing they did on the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie Kurt was in. He had the same makeup person."

In 2017's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," Russell plays Ego, Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) father. In the opening of the movie, Russell appears decades younger in a flashback scene.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Marvel
Kurt Russell in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." Marvel

Despite Russell boasting at the time that his makeup artist was responsible for 90% of the look, director James Gunn revealed it was more complex than that. The sequence included a younger actor mimicking Russell's movements in the scene and an effects house spent months morphing together the two performances.

Columbus didn't get into specifics on the de-aging process on "Chronicles 2," but the scene is more brief than the one in "Guardians 2," so it's likely there was less time spent on it. 

"The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two" is available on Netflix beginning Wednesday.

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