Marvel Ignites a Christmas Movie Debate Larger Than the Die Hard Controversy


When contemplating Christmas-themed films, the immediate association isn’t typically with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The go-to choices lean more towards classics like “Elf” or the heartwarming “It’s a Wonderful Life” rather than the superhero spectacle of “Avengers: Endgame.” Nevertheless, within the realms of MCU debates, there’s been an ongoing discussion among Marvel enthusiasts regarding whether Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3” can genuinely be considered a true Christmas movie.

Shane Black, recognized for situating his films during the holiday season, continued this trend when he ventured into the MCU in 2013 with “Iron Man 3.” The cast of Iron Man embraced the festive spirit, but the question remains: does it merit inclusion among the elite Christmas movie roster simply by having tinsel in the background alongside MCU characters?

One Reddit user, IAm_The-Danger, argued in favor, asserting that “Iron Man 3” is a top contender for holiday viewing. They stated, “Personally I say yes because it is a movie I always watch around the Christmas season and has barely enough Christmas elements to justify it.”


However, an opposing viewpoint emerged from another commenter who believed that a genuine Christmas movie or story should encompass the essence of Christmas. They argued that it should involve characters learning the importance of communal sharing and striving to become better versions of themselves, akin to Mr. Scrooge’s transformation in “A Christmas Carol.” They contended that merely setting a film during Christmas time doesn’t suffice.

Specifically, comparisons were drawn between “Iron Man 3” and the Marvel series “Hawkeye,” which prominently incorporates the Christmas countdown as a crucial aspect of its storyline. Additionally, with the imminent release of “What If…? Season 2,” part of Marvel’s Phase 5, anticipation builds for more definitive and festive narratives from the MCU.

Regarding “Iron Man 3,” the verdict remains somewhat uncertain. Like other works by Shane Black, it subtly embraces the trappings of a Christmas movie without fully embracing the festive aura. Nevertheless, in a similar vein to the perennial debate over whether “Die Hard” qualifies as a Christmas movie – an assertion many accept – some argue that “Iron Man 3” could rightfully join this category as well.

There’s a consensus that there’s room for further exploration. While there’s no confirmed presence of a full-fledged Christmas-themed Marvel movie in the upcoming slate, there’s a collective desire to witness an MCU film fully immersed in the holiday spirit. However, the hope is for it to resemble more of the heartwarming tone of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” rather than the unconventional vibe of the “Star Wars Holiday Special.”