Netflix Hidden Gem 'Trollhunters' Season 2 Confirmed In New Guillermo Del Toro Interview

trollhunters dreamworks animation
Netflix series Trollhunters. (c) Dreamworks, Netflix

Trollhunters, the best thing to happen last holiday season in terms of entertainment on the small screen and one of Netflix’s brightest hidden gems, is confirmed for season 2. Guillermo del Toro confirmed the news in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly today.

Trollhunters season 2 will run 13 episodes long and production is well underway, according to del Toro. Even the untimely death of actor Anton Yelchin, the voice of protagonist Jim, isn’t an obstacle to the show. In fact, del Toro’s team will be using his performance for much of season 2.

“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,” said del Toro.

He added, “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….  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.”

While the first season is 26 episodes long (the equivalent of two seasons), del Toro and team have plotted out 52 episodes with breaks every 13 episodes where story arcs end. “The beats of the second season have been set for years, and as of now, we have not altered or needed to alter a single beat,” said del Toro.

One major consideration for deciding to plan for 52 episodes? Sheer Netflix-style bingeability. “We made the decision based on binge-watching, you know?” said del Toro. “As we were going through the first season — which really is two seasons because it’s 26 — I started watching the animatics, three or four in a row. I would cancel my flight and stay. I would take three episodes with me. And I started naturally finding how much, at the end of every episode, I wanted to watch the next. And we said, if we can maintain that rhythm, that sort of addictive pace, through 26 episodes, we’re going to get a second season.”

Trollhunters can be watched with children, but its addictive, magical quality has lots of appeal for adults as well. Part of that comes from the authenticity of its characters. “I think in many ways, the Charlie Hunnam character in Pacific Rim is a little bit like Jim. He’s not a complicated guy. He’s good-hearted. They don’t need to be complicated by post-modern winking or ironic satiric logic. They are really earnest and heartfelt,” said del Toro.

Another appealing feature of Trollhunters is its outstanding narrative, which blends humor, sincerity and supernatural shenanigans in classic del Toro style. Part of that is due to a promise del Toro made during production that Trollhunters would be a show done by creators, sheltered from the slings and arrows of corporate meddling.

“And as we started to deliver [on that promise], what I found very moving is that you ended up seeing people, seeing animators go the extra mile to animate really well. You saw cinematographers going the extra mile to light really well,” said del Toro.

“We had layout and story guys going the extra mile because they knew… most of the time, the story and storyboard departments on an animated project think of the work as disposable. They know that a sequence they do is going to go through 20 incarnations. And I promised them, you’re not going to come back a month later and find out that you need to do five versions. And everybody felt this is being delivered on. We are working with freedom, so let’s go the extra mile, first time around.

“And it made a huge difference in the quality of the show, because our budget, monetarily, was the same, but our budget, humanly, was enormous.”

And so was the pay-off, as Trollhunters is unofficially Netflix’s most-watched children’s series.

Are you looking forward to Trollhunters season 2? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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