New York – I will have a piece at another time detailing all the various sorts of New York Comic Con fun I had in the past week, but now is the time to talk about the “Trollhunters” panel held on Saturday at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
This was the first year NYCC has been at The Theater and I attended panels on both of the first two days. The energy amongst fans at The Theater was incredible, and didn’t dissipate for “Trollhunters” despite the “John Wick 2” panel which preceded it being incredibly loud with a terribly enthusiastic fan base.
Of course, I probably should have expected that the crowd would still be behind “Trollhunters” as fan favorite Guillermo del Toro was on hand for the event. Outside the filmmaker, the panel also included Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman, Charlie Saxton, and Steven Yeun, as well as executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Rodrigo Blaas. The event was moderated by Laura Prudom.
Before they screened the first couple of episodes, del Toro came out and said that he initially pitched “Trollhunters” as a live action series but said it was too big and expensive. At one point it morphed into a feature before eventually turning into the animated Netflix series it has become, a series which is set to debut this December.
In short, the episodes we saw of “Trollhunters,” were exceptionally enjoyable. The animation was beautiful and the episodes established a world that was intriguing.
The tale follows a boy, Jim, who happens upon an amulet that turns him into a defender of trolls. Well, a defender of good trolls. There are also bad trolls which is why Jim is the trollhunter, not the trolldefender. Grammer and Perlman’s characters (which were created with the two actors in mind) are good trolls, while Saxton plays Jim’s human friend, Toby, and Yeun as a school bully.
The series has the air of one that had an enthusiastic team behind it, and a clever one as well. I caught one verbal reference to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in the episodes and was assured—via Twitter—that there are many Indiana Jones references coming over the course of the season.
Although a lot of fun was had during the panel discussion—Guillermo del Toro’s birthday was on Sunday and a cake was presented with the entire Theater audience singing—it was not without some upset. Jim is voiced by the late Anton Yelchin and although the talk didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Yelchin and his portrayal, the sense that there was someone missing from the dais was unavoidable.
Of Yelchin, del Toro stated in part, that he was “a terrific actor but an even more amazing human being.” There was no true discussion of what del Toro and company might do with Jim’s role in the second season, should there be a second season.
Certainly, with the amount of ground covered in the episodes we saw the manner in which the world seems to open up, it is difficult to imagine that there aren’t ideas kicking around the production team of where the tale could head if more episodes are ordered. What those ideas might be, however, is impossible to say (at least, it’s impossible for me to say).
If what we see on December 23rd with the release of the full season matches what we got this weekend, I for one hope that the production team has the opportunity to keep digging. It could be an amazing world.
photo credit: Netflix