The Hotel Transylvania series has already established itself as a tentpole franchise following the unprecedented box office success of its first sequel in September 2015, and has already secured its own TV show. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack), and written by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel, the monster-studded family-friendly production quickly found its way into the hearts and minds of its audience, winning Hotel Transylvania 2 a $48 million debut weekend, making the film the biggest September theatrical opening of all time.
Predictably, the announcement of Hotel Transylvania 3 has since been deemed inevitable, but even as the prediction appears to be on track with Columbia Pictures, it appears as though Tartakovsky is less than eager to return to Sandler’s Transylvanian resort.
According to the latest data from Box Office Mojo, the third film from writers Sandler and Smigel has a set release date for September 2018, with Tartakovsky bowing out as director going forward. When asked for comment by The Wrap on his departure from the blockbuster entity, which has grossed roughly $200 million domestically between both films so far, the celebrated Russian-born American animator simply stated:
“Hotel Transylvania 3 is going to happen without me. Two is enough. I have a lot of other ideas, and I kind of have to express them and have them come out.”
Given the rising popularity of the films, which star Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade, it might at first appear as though Tartakovsky is being unwise in abandoning a premise with plenty more material to be created, culled, and packaged for viewer consumption. But the problem appears to have been with the films’ star voice-actor Sandler in this case, in addition to co-writer Smigel, with whom the director sparred in terms of creative decisions.
On working with Sandler, Tartakovsky remarked:
“Adam is very, very funny. Whenever he is in the room, everyone is laughing. The other side of it is [that] animation is my life and my industry, and for Adam to come from a live-action perspective, sometimes those two things don’t meet. Sometimes it’s challenging, and I’m always looking for humor from a physical side, but sometimes his humor leans more to the vocal side of things.”
It will be interesting to see how things develop regarding the third film in the series without Tartakovsky. As the director sets his own sights on other more personal projects, the film series, and its related original production for television, may become ever more aligned with Sandler and the aesthetics established by his Happy Madison Productions, for better or worse.
Hotel Transylvania 3 will see theatrical release in the U.S. on September 21st, 2018.