You know the saying, “Where there’s smoke, there is fire”? Guillermo del Toro is adding a variation:
Where there are trolls, there are wizards.
And also … aliens.
With the second season of his DreamWorks/Netflix series Trollhunters getting underway on Dec. 15, the filmmaker is announcing plans to expand the universe to include two other animated shows: the alien saga 3 Below and the magic-mystery adventure Wizards.
As you can see from the clip above, local teen conspiracy theorist Eli Pepperjack (voiced by Cole Sand) is explaining to sidekick extraordinaire Toby Domzalski (Charlie Saxton) that not only is their town of Arcadia a hotbed of subterranean troll activity, but it has connections to these other supernatural realms as well.
Naturally, it takes Toby’s breath away. (Although, as fans of the show already know, that’s easy to do.)
Trollhunters is simply the first installment in the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, which will be followed by these two other shows in the years to come. The new season begins on Dec. 15, the same day as the debut of The Last Jedi, which is a strange coincidence, since Mark Hamill joins the animated show as a many-eyed villain named Dictatious.
‘The idea was to create three interconnecting series that shared a mythology,” del Toro tells EW. “When I was kid growing up in a small city in Mexico, I thought everything was going to happen there. When I was in seventh grade, we went into the sewers with flashlights and crossed the whole city. I don’t recommend it! But we crossed the city from beneath, and that’s where Trollhunters come from.”
But wait, there’s more: “And for whatever reason, at age 15, I saw a UFO,” he added. “I have a strange life.”
That gave him an idea for a complex mythology of three narratives that crisscross in a tiny California town.
3 Below debuts next year and will focus on two royal teenage aliens and their bodyguard who escape their home planet during a coup by an evil dictator and end up crashing on Earth near Arcadia. The sentient mothership gives them a choice of sanctuary: “The ship says, ‘There are two alternatives to hide, a planet that is about to be devoured by a black hole, or this floating ball of mud called ‘Earth,’ and that is such a crappy planet that no one will ever look for you there,'” del Toro said.
They’re being pursued by intergalactic bounty hunters, so while attempting to rebuild their ship and get home, the young aliens must disguise themselves and blend in as ordinary high school students. But it’s also a parable about the marginalized.
“The mothership says, ‘I will give you the shape of people who are invisible, that nobody looks at,'” del Toro says. “So she turns the prince into a Latino boy, the bodyguard into an elderly man, and the princess into a girl.”
Wizards (coming in 2019) unites all three mystical story lines, with magical heroes engaged in a battle that will determine the fate not just of our world, but also the troll kingdom and the alien world.
“In the early season of Trollhunters, we already introduced characters you don’t know how important they are for the [other] two series, that have been in the planning for years,” del Toro says. “Wizards tracks down the whole backstory of Trollhunters and much, much more and brings all of this group [of shows] to a conclusion.”