Netflix's Trollhunters might not have received the same promotion as heavy-hitters like House of Cards and Orange Is The Next Black received, but word of mouth and positive reviews are getting people to tune into the animated fantasy adventure. Directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) Trollhunters is insanely bright and colorful, wonderfully written and voiced by some top-notch talent. It also triumphs in the balancing act of pleasing both young and old audience members alike.
#Netflix has just announced that they have picked up the Trollhunters for Season 2, which will premiere later this year.
What Is 'Trollhunters'?
The show focuses on Jim: an average teenager who gets himself roped into being a warrior for a secret underground civilization of trolls, and has to fight to protect both worlds.
The DreamWorks Animation production features the voicing talents of Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Amy Landecker (Transparent), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Clancy Brown (Carnivàle) and #AntonYelchin (Star Trek).
Production has already started — but there is one problem.
In June 2016, a horrible vehicular accident took the life of Anton Yelchin. Probably best known for his role as Chekov in the Star Trek movies, Anton also has an abundance of smaller, independent roles (such as the critically acclaimed indie horror Green Room) that showed just how much of a talented actor he was.
Before his death, Anton had finished recording Trollhunters, Season 1 but also completed an abundance of pre-recorded work. According to Guillermo del Toro, in an interview with EW, this work will not go to waste.
From the beginning when we planned the writers’ room, we set out a map of 52 episodes, and created arcs that break every 13, and those were planned four years ago. So we have been recording Kelsey Grammer, Anton, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, everybody involved in the series for years and years.
We’ve been working on a second season for a while now because we knew that if everything went right, we could proceed. The reality and the beauty of this is that we can continue not only the storyline and the characters, but we have a huge swath of work from Anton that allows us to continue Anton through more than half the season.
According to del Toro, this is not only advantageous to the show, but to Yelchin's legacy.
We knew we wanted to preserve as much of the performance of Anton as possible, both from an artistic and a human point of view, and also simply because I think it’s a tribute to what we think he brings to the role of Jim.
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What Happens Next?
Normally, when you have the unfortunate passing of a lead actor, you have to look at what that means for the future of your show - do you recast, cancel the show or change the focus onto different characters?
It's lucky that the story for #Trollhunters was thought out so far in advanced. What's more lucky is that a storyline in the upcoming season will actually explain the voice change in the future episodes.
Actually, coincidentally, we have an event in the last episode Anton did which allows us to sort of change his voice slightly, so the character stays — but we didn’t plan this. It was pure serendipity that we had that in the works.
What this 'event' might be remains shrouded in mystery. A few possibilities spring to mind:
- Whether you are an adult or a teenager, fighting trolls will be dangerous work. It's entirely possible that he suffers an injury to his throat/neck that might alter his voice slightly enough for a new actor.
- In a show full of trolls and myhtical trollhunters, Jim may somehow get transformed by his adventures — allowing another actor to step in.
- Some kind of mask or helmet could transform his voice, Darth Vader-style.
- The most plausible (but perhaps slightly underwhelming) option is puberty. Jim is a teenager after all, and we've all been there!
It's been a busy time for new television shows lately but you should definitely check out Trollhunters. It's shaping up to be the most watched kids series ever on Netflix, and has fan around the world clamoring for a second season — and one last chance to witness Anton Yelchin in action.
Have you watched the show? Do you think it will succeed without Anton's voicing talent? Comment below!