When you think of Christmas movies, you’re not likely to reach straight for the MCU. It’s more a case of Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life than Avengers: Endgame, right? Well, Marvel fans have been debating whether the MCU has actually given us a true Christmas movie in the shape of Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.
Of course, Black is well known for setting his movies at Christmas, and that was no different when he joined the MCU in 2013. The Iron Man cast got festive for Iron Man 3, but can we add it to our list of the best Christmas movies? Is simply putting tinsel in the background behind some MCU characters enough?
Reddit user IAm_The-Danger posed the question, saying they do believe that Iron Man 3 is one of the best movies for the holiday season. They wrote: “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.”
One commenter, though, offered a dissenting take. “In my view, to truly qualify as a Christmas movie/story, it has to embody something about the spirit of Christmas, with the characters learning the value of sharing with your community and to be better versions of themselves, like Mr Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Just setting a movie around Christmas time is not enough.”
In particular, several commenters compared Iron Man 3 to the Marvel series Hawkeye, which includes the countdown to Christmas as an important element of its plot. We’ve also got the What If…? season 2 release date around the corner, which will see Marvel’s Phase 5 give us some definitive festive stories.
As for Iron Man 3, we’re not sure where we sit on it. Like everything Shane Black has made, it wears the clothes of a Christmas movie without ever fully embracing the festive spirit. But if you accept that Die Hard is a Christmas movie – and we do – then you kinda have to let Iron Man 3 join the canon too.
We do think there’s further to go here. While it’s not on the calendar of upcoming Marvel movies just yet, we’d love to see one of the new movies in the MCU go full festive. But we hope it’s more Muppet Christmas Carol than Star Wars Holiday Special.
But it’s nearly Christmas, so we’d love you to check out our list of the stories we’d love to see from a Harry Potter Christmas special. You can also learn why Die Hard isn’t even close to being the most popular Christmas movie and find out how Samuel L Jackson’s worst stunt was in a Christmas movie.