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Creator Guillermo del Toro introduced the new trailer and several clips of Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, the upcoming animated feature based on his Emmy-winning Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia trilogy series, during a Tuesday panel as part of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
The fantasy film is in production at DreamWorks Animation, which also produced the series and will released next month on Netflix. The first Trollhunters series ran on Netflix from 2016-18, followed by 3Below from 2018-19 and Wizards in 2020.
“Originally I pitched the series as a live-action series taking place in the ’80s. It was very different,” del Toro said. ‘It was about making it scary, and Jeffrey [Katzenberg] said ‘we don’t do TV’…Then we tried to cram it into a feature and it was impossible. There were too many characters, too many layers.”
He adds that ‘then one fateful morning Jeffrey invited me to breakfast–and when he pays for breakfast there something going on–and said ‘you’re going to kill me, but what do you think of doing it as TV series?’ And I said, ‘that’s the best news I’ve ever had.'”
The franchise is set in Arcadia, a magical town where there have been battles among creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards. In Rise of the Titans, the heroes from the Trollhunters, 3Below and Wizards team-up to fight the “Arcane Order” for control over the magic that binds them.
Joining del Toro on the panel to preview the movie were directors Francisco Ruiz, Johane Matte and Andrew L. Schmidt, as well as exec producer Chad Hammes.
“It was like directing Godzilla or a Kaiju kind of movie,” said Ruiz of helming a clip that featured a battle between two giant robots in the bay. “The battle has a certain scale, what we learned on Pacific Rim is how did you get that scale on a fight–what are rules, the speed of the movement,” added del Toro.
Schmidt introduced a clip showing the team as they come together and realize their combined strengths –while they are on the back of taco truck and about to go battle against a titan. He also discussed pacing. “You need to have the highs and lows. I wanted to pace it so that you would have some lighthearted moments. I was worried about the pace of being either steady action or too dark for too long.”
Matte described the challenge of “introducing or reintroducing the characters. If you had not seen the series, how did we make this big cast interesting right away?”
The ensemble voice cast includes Emile Hirsch, Lexi Medrano, Charlie Saxton, Kelsey Grammer, Alfred Molina, Steven Yeun, Nick Frost, Colin O’Donoghue, Diego Luna, Tatiana Maslany, Cole Sand, Nick Offerman, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Blessed, Kay Bess, Piotr Michael, James Hong, Tom Kenny, Angel Lin, Amy Landecker, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Wood, Laraine Newman, Grey Griffin and Cheryl Hines.
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