Just before the close of 2016, Guillermo del Toro unveiled his newest undertaking: Trollhunters, an animated Netflix show that traces the adventures of Jim Lake, a teen-turned-warrior who finds himself unceremoniously thrust into the magical, mythical troll world beneath his town. It offered a kid-friendly take on fantastical spectacles like Hellboy, Pacific Rim and his Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth.
Its December release was met with critical acclaim, with reviewers hailing del Toro’s abilities to transform his monster story penchant for a more vibrant, youthful medium. Pair ’80s references with a whimsical narrative and apparently you’ve got a hit on your hands. It comes as no surprise, then, that Netflix has renewed the series for a second season.
Del Toro revealed the news during an interview with EW on Thursday, confirming that a 13-episode run will arrive later this year. The announcement is slightly bittersweet, as there will be at least one actor noticeably absent from the cast. Last June, Anton Yelchin, who voiced Jim, died in a tragic accident at 27. Trollhunters served as one of his final performances, as most of the voice work had been completed before his passing. Here’s what del Toro told EW regarding Yelchin:
“From the get-go, even in the first season, 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. 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. And there was a break in the arc in the right episode that allows us to preserve all the work that Anton did that was phenomenal…And now I can tell you, we’re not only going to second season, but we’re going to be able to preserve a really large part of it with Anton’s voice.”
EW also unveiled artwork for the new season of Trollhunters, which you can see below:
Outside of Yelchin’s work, the returning cast includes Charlie Saxton and Lexi Medrano as Jim’s pals Toby and Claire, Kelsey Grammer as his troll mentor Blinky, and Clancy Brown as villainous warlord Gunmar. The second season will pick up after its finale cliffhanger, in which [spoiler alert] Jim was sent to the Darklands. Here’s what del Toro had to say about the storyline:
“The Darklands are quite an ordeal in themselves. They are not a light walk in the park. They are not a one-action sequence and we go away. There’s a good [amount] in the Darklands. We have character recalls that were introduced in the first season that you didn’t know how they’d pay off, or you thought you’d knew how they pay off, and you reencounter them and go, ‘Oh, so this is who the mysterious lady that gives supernatural powers to Angor Rot is,’ for example. She becomes quite a character in the second season. You reencounter a character I love — I won’t tell you who — but we reencounter that character now in the Darklands. We resolve a lot more of the backstory of Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!!, for example. And of course, the Mexican dentist comes back.”
He also teased that Toby and Claire will get a chance to become Trollhunters on their own, and, “We find out some of the surprisingly complex politics in the world of trolls in regards to the Darklands.”
Netflix rarely doesn’t grant its original series a second shot, but in this case, it’s more than warranted. According to EW, Trollhunters is unofficially tracking as Netflix’s most-watched kids’ series ever, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it have an imaginative premise, its cinematics are stunning enough to be appreciated by more than just its kid-centric audience. Bravo, del Toro, a Season 2 much deserved.
A release date for Trollhunters season 2 has not yet been announced, but Screen Rant will keep you updated.