Happy Death Day Director Explains How The Third Movie Will Be Different

Jessica Rothe as Tree in Happy Death Day
(Image credit: (Blumhouse))

Blumhouse has experimented with the horror genre a ton of different ways over the years, but Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day franchise might just be the most fun the studio has ever had with a slasher. The movie series, which calls back to Groundhog Day time loops and Back to the Future references, is a cult favorite and has hopes to become a trilogy.

Both Happy Death Day movies are gems, which is impressive considering they both occur within the same 24-hour timespan. The first 2017 film has Jessica Rothe’s Tree being murdered and then reliving the same day over and over, whilst last year’s second film has her stuck in a parallel universe. Here’s how the next film will differ, per Landon:

The idea for the third film is not set in the same day, if that's a big spoiler. So it can happen later. We're not up against a really difficult clock right now. The other movies were hard… everybody had to look the same, be the same. The pressure is off there.

This is good news for the return of Happy Death Day. As Christopher Landon told Empire, his plans for the third film, which he calls Happy Death Day To Us, will move the timeline forward. This is also great news for series protagonist Tree, who has woken up in a dorm room, twin-size bed on her birthday too many times to count or should even be allowed!

Happy Death Day 2U was a fun sequel but, for some reason, the movie grossed only half as much money as the first installment. It brought in $64 million against the first movie’s $125 million. It is worth mentioning, though, that both were reportedly made on incredibly low budgets of under $10 million. Still, those box-office numbers led to Landon announcing that the third movie was not in development. The writer/director has since provided an update with these words:

It's definitely off to the side at the moment. I wish it wasn't, and I know that [Jason Blum, producer] is passionate about it, I know I'm very passionate about it, and I know that [Jessica Rothe is really eager to do it as well. I wrote the idea for the third movie some time ago. I think we're all excited by it, because it's different than the other two films, and so we're really just crossing our fingers and hoping that our fan base continues to grow – which is something that I've really enjoyed watching over the years, seeing more and more people discover both films. So who knows. There might be a time when it makes sense, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later.

Over the summer, Jason Blum said he was “working overtime” on making Happy Death Day To Us happen, but financing a project with a small audience cannot be easy. Nevertheless, Jessica Rothe is passionate about returning as her central character, even if she has to pull a Jamie Lee Curtis and come back in her middle-aged years, as she's previously stated.

In the meantime, Christopher Landon is getting ready to release a new horror comedy called Freaky, a body-swap slasher starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. Freaky hits theaters November 13. Spread the love for the Happy Death Day movies so we can see the trilogy, please and thank you!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.