Although Happy Death Day and its sequel Happy Death Day 2U are well-loved among fans, the prospect of a Happy Death Day 3 is currently up in the air due to current world conditions and the subsequent state of the movie industry. Despite the uncertainty, however, series director Christopher Landon is hopeful of the possibility of production eventually going ahead.
The franchise is an inventive take on slasher movies, seeing college student Tree Gelbman murdered by a masked assailant on the night of her birthday, only to wake up the previous morning with the memory of what happened. No matter what she tries to do, she keeps being killed and re-awakening, so uses the unique opportunity to investigate who wants her dead.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Landon had this to say:
“I get this question a lot and I know that there’s a huge fan base and there are a lot of people who want to see the conclusion, as I would say, to the trilogy. I think it really comes down to Universal deciding whether they want it or not, only time will tell. We’re ready to make it. Like, I have an outline, I’m ready to go write the script, [star] Jessica Rothe, the whole cast, everybody’s on board. They all know what the idea is, they love it, so we’ll see.”
He also went on to explain:
“I think that everybody wants it, but I think it’s just a logistical challenge right now. And there’s been talk that maybe they would try and make it for their new streaming service, for Peacock, so I think there’s a real shot that it could eventually happen. And the great thing about the idea is that, and this is a spoiler, it’s not set in the same day that the other two films were set in, so it allows us to sort of take our time a little bit and figure it out.”
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As well as putting a spin on familiar subgenre tropes, Happy Death Day is notable for Tree beginning the story as a selfish and thoroughly unpleasant person, exactly the kind of young woman who gets knocked off early in a standard slasher movie, only for her experiences through her repeated deaths to mellow her into someone more compassionate.
In keeping with this, Happy Death Day 2U also defied conventions in that instead of being a retread of everything the first film did, it instead expands the concept and examines things that weren’t explained in the original, like the cause of the time loop. It also has a great deal to say about loss and regret, and how someone might act if they were given a second chance with a loved one.
Although the two movies revolve around university students, such was the way the sequel ended that a third outing needn’t necessarily follow on directly, meaning that if it takes a few years and the actors involved become noticeably older, it shouldn’t be an issue for the story. In any case, Happy Death Day 3 would no doubt be very welcome for fans who remain hopeful of it coming to pass.