Season 3 of Guillermo del Toro's Trollhunters drops on Netflix on May 25, which puts us just a day away from a whole lot of exciting new developments. At the end of Season 2, we saw Claire (Lexi Medrano) — with the help of Jim (Anton Yelchin), Toby (Charlie Saxton) and the rest of the gang — create a massive portal to save the entire troll population before Gunmar (Clancy Brown), Queen Usurna (Anjelica Huston), and Dictatious (Mark Hamill) could get to them.
Unfortunately, they were not the only ones hunting our heroes down.
There is a mysterious evil force at work, as well the potential resurrection of Angor Rot (Ike Amadi). Gunmar is close to completing his big plan to wage war on humanity and troll alike, plunging the entire world into darkness. Jim, Claire, Toby, Blinky (Kelsey Grammer) and Aaarrgghh (Fred Tatasciore) are facing their biggest test yet, and there's still the matter of all of those babies in the Dark Lands to rescue.
The entire series has been dedicated to the late Anton Yelchin, who voiced lead character Jim Lake Jr., one of final roles before his tragic death in the summer of 2016. Yelchin voiced through all of Season 2 and some parts of Season 3. Because he didn't finish his work, the creative team had to find creative and respectful ways to complete the season.
Casting director Ania O'Hare mentioned to the producers that Yelchin was close with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Speed Racer), making him a strong candidate as a mid-season replacement.
"I think the idea was that maybe Emile would be familiar with his work enough to do it," writer and executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells SYFY WIRE. "Our intention was not to cast an Anton-soundalike. It was more important to us that we get a great actor than someone who could mimic Anton accurately. Someone just mimicking him, I feel diminishes the contribution Anton made to the show."
That Hirsch was so close with Yelchin made it an even more attractive option.
"We talked a lot about how much we liked the idea of a friend of his finishing Anton's work," Guggenheim says. "Emile was up for it and he did a wonderful job. He had a very similar limited experience in animation and just like Anton did, grew and developed an affinity to it. So working with Emile was like watching history repeat itself."
Yelchin was the heart of the series and in many ways the viewer's entryway into this world. Yelchin's voice work in the series makes for some of the best work in a career that was cut too short. Hirsch's voice work is indeed its own distinct entity, but still honors Yelchin's work.
"It was very moving for all of us. We were all very shocked and saddened by Anton's passing. It was just a random, terrible death and we just wanted to make sure he was honoring the amazing work he had done."
Another newcomer to Trollhunters is Game of Thrones' Lena Heady, who voices Morgana, another major threat to the Trollhunters.
"I gotta give her credit, she had never done any voice work before," Guggenheim reveals. "But she took to it like a duck to water. She was immediately adept at voice acting. We would listen to her first set of records and say, wow, she is so good at sounding evil. She has such a talent for it."
SYFY WIRE has an exclusive clip of Heady's Morgana in action below as she targets Claire. Check it out and get ready for the entire Season 3, which will drop on Netflix on Friday, May 25.