Fans of the Guillermo del Toro’s CGI-animated Tales of Arcadia fantasy saga on Netflix don’t have to say goodbye just yet. As announced on Friday, the adventure is set to continue for the characters of Trollhunters, 3Below, and Wizards in the original Netflix film Rise of the Titans in 2021, which was promised to be a spectacular finale by del Toro.
Sprung from del Toro and Daniel Kraus’ Trollhunters book series, the interconnected world of Tales of Arcadia launched with the 2016 Trollhunters, focused on a mortal boy, Jim Lake (Emile Hirsch), balancing school work and dealing with the hidden society of trolls in the small suburban town of Arcadia. It was followed by the 2017 sci-fi series 3Below, which explored the exploits of two royal extraterrestrial siblings, Krel (Diego Luna) and Aja, as they lay low in Arcadia.
Now the miniseries Wizards brings the announced trilogy to an end with 10 new episodes. In this latest installment, the nine-centuries-old teenage-looking wizard Douxie (Colin O’Donoghue), his trusty shapeshifting sidekick (Alfred Molina), and his Trollhunters allies are swept into a time portal that throws them into ancient Camelot. Magic, trolls, amulets, revisionary Arthurian drama, and a dash of alien tech, it’s all there.
[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains major spoilers for Wizards.]
Wizards left a cliffhanger: After promising the Trollhunters gang a reunion someday, Douxie and the ancient magical being Nari (Angel Lin) hide in a metropolis to avoid the nefarious Arcane Order. The duo of bone-clad magical antagonists is out to seize their former member Nari and open a seal that can unleash magic across the globe.
Protecting Nari from the Arcane Order is likely the central conflict of Rise of the Titans, which is in production. It is directed by Johane Matte, Franisco Ruiz Velasco, and Andrew L. Schmidt and written by Marc Guggenheim, Dan Hageman, and Kevin Hageman. Del Toro’s tweet teases a “first-quarter 2021” release.
But like all great cliffhangers, Wizards leaves some burning questions for the movie:
How are Jim’s trollhunting duties affected by his amulet’s destruction?
In his restored human form, Jim Lake asks if he’s still the Trollhunter. His iconic magic amulet is gone now, so he’s left with neither his signature armor nor a sword. How will the troll society of the former Trollmarket take to the news that the Trollhunter amulet is gone?
Who will pull Excalibur from the stone?
We all know how the “sword in the stone” trope goes. Although he tries, Jim has yet to be able to pull out Excalibur, the magical sword left behind by the fallen King Arthur, setting up Jim’s journey for Rise of the Titans. A shot suggests that Jim will become the wielder of Excalibur. It makes sense for the cast to pin Jim as the likely candidate due to his noble character and Trollhunter experience. But let’s not rule out any possible curveballs. We have yet to see yet if Jim is meant to be the next wielder.
Will the underground hedge wizards play a role in the movie?
The Hex Tech electronic repair shop serves as a temporary refuge for the main characters in the second-half of Wizards, but the society itself is rather under-fleshed out. As the manager Zoe (Sandra Saad) puts it, the hedge wizards make a living “charming the mortals’ electronics into shape.” How long have they existed in Arcadia?
Three background and supporting human characters in 3Below are revealed to be a significant part of the underground wizards. Zoe, who has her record shop next to Douxie’s shop, is revealed to be a wizard and alludes to hunting magical creatures with Douxie. Likely, her teenage appearance conceals a centuries-old status like Douxie’s.
We see Seamus, Krel’s former bully, reassembling a microwave with a modern wand. We also see the currently unnamed girl who gave the chronically unlucky background character Shannon a kiss in 3Below. For Seamus and the girl, this raises the question: Were they magic practitioners all this time? Or did their employment train them in magic? Perhaps after meeting the trolls in the preceding series, ordinary Arcadians beyond Jim Lake’s main circle has grown more than accepting of hidden magical beings to the point of partaking in magical dealings.
Let’s hope Hex Tech can rebuild after all the Arcane Order’s carnage. Their existence in Arcadia proves that underground wizards could be anywhere around the globe.
How will the 3Below return for Rise of the Titans?
On the release of Wizards, a del Toro’s tweet announced, “EVERYBODY — And I mean, everybody, comes back 2021 for a big, bold, spectacular feature film that ties every part of the myths!” So reunions are in order.
Wizards reunites the gang with Krel, the Akirdion prince who elected to stay on Earth at the end of 3Below, without checking in on other 3Below alumni, Aja, Varvatos Vex, Zadra, and Eli, who all departed for planet Akirdion-5. They’re sure to be back for the movie event but to what capacity is unknown. Indeed, Akirdion-5 would likely be happy to aid the planet that sheltered their royals and Eli needs to reunite with his Creepslayerz pal Steve.
And will we see Charlemagne again?
If del Toro promises that everybody will be there, it better include Charlemagne. Because let’s be honest, Brian Blessed as the wise-cracking dad dragon Charlemagne is the best and the Arcadia guardians could use his tea, pies, sagely wisdom, and dad jokes.