3Below: Tales of Arcadia Producer on the Trollhunters Followup

3Below: Tales of Arcadia Producer Marc Guggenheim discusses the show's crossover potential with Trollhunters.

From trolls to aliens, and with wizards on the way, the town of Arcadia, first seen in the Netflix series Trollhunters, is shaping up to be very weird. But what else can one expect when Guillermo del Toro is the architect?

It turns out, fans of del Toro’s Trollhunters can still expect a lot more as that fantasy story was just the first chapter in a cross-genre franchise, called Tales of Arcadia, and all set in the titular town. Following the three-season Emmy-winning success of Trollhunters, the second chapter is titled 3Below, and introduces an intergalactic element

After an evil force invades their home planet, a teenage prince and princess, their bodyguard, and maternalistic “mother” ship land on Earth, and pose as overlooked citizens — a Latino boy, a girl, and elderly man (with the ship posing as a house) — to hide from intergalactic bounty hunters. And the series will crossover with characters from Trollhunters, and lay the groundwork for the third chapter, Wizards. 

Executive produced by del Toro, Marc Guggenheim, Rodrigo Blaas, and Chad Hammes, 3Below stars the vocal talents of Diego Luna, Tatiana Maslany, Glenn Close, and Nick Offerman (as well as Nick Frost, Andy Garcia, Hayley Atwell, and Dany Trejo) with theme music by The Crystal Method.

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Guggenheim joined Den of Geek after the show’s New York Comic Con panel to discuss the cross over potential 3Below will have with Trollhunters.

Den of Geek: You obviously have experience with crossovers after your work on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. But selling a show that crosses genre like this — from trolls to aliens, and eventually wizards — must not have been an easy sell. 

Marc Guggenheim: Netflix has been incredibly supportive of us since day one. When they ordered Trollhunters,they ordered the whole series all at once. In very short order, no pun intended, they ordered 3Below and Wizards. And they never looked back … that was a pretty big risk that they took.

We have these characters in Arcadia who have seen trolls, and now they have aliens … 

That to me was part of the fun. You’ve got characters who by the time 3Below happens they have become very indoctrinated into the idea that there are trolls, but then can still completely freak out at the idea that there are aliens. There’s still a sense of wonder that’s going on.

To what extent will characters from the two series crossover?

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We have some episodes where it’s just a little cameo, we have other episodes where it’s a full on crossover and it goes back and forth. We also have different characters, like minor characters in Trollhunters become major characters in 3Below, so it really does span the gap. We didn’t take one singular approach to it. We actually, if we had one guiding principle, it was this is all the same world, this is the same town and just like in your life, there are some people you see once a year and there’s other people you see every day.

further reading: Trollhunters Season 2 Review

Do those crossover also open up some comedic interactions?

We always try to have a bit of fun with when our worlds intersect with everyone’s reactions. The first time Vex on 3Below meets AAARRRGGHH!!! from Trollhunters, these are two of our biggest, brutish, most brutish characters, it’s fun to see them react to each other.

How will that extend to Wizards?

By the time you get to Wizards, there’s a character who’s a talking cat who wears glasses. And one character is like, “Wait a minute, why is the cat wearing glasses?” and one of the other characters says, “The cat is talking, and you’re worrying about his eyewear?” The character’s like, “I’ve seen creeps, I’ve seen aliens, I’ve seen trolls, yeah, I want to know why the talking cat is wearing glasses.”

Why Arcadia? What is it about this town that makes it a ley line for all this activity?

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It’s funny you should mention that. That is something that we’ve always talked about in terms of intersectional ley lines. In fact, when Guillermo first pitched this idea that there’s all these things happening in this one town, he said ley lines very specifically … I will say this though, you will see an explanation in 3Below as to why the three below aliens specifically arrived in Arcadia. That is explained, and it does relate to Trollhunters.

You have this conflict going on on this alien planet Acaridian, but you also have a fish out of water story on Earth. How much time are we going to spend back on the other planet? 

The vast majority of the show now, once the first episode ends, takes place on Earth. But we designed this beautiful world of Acaridian. You haven’t seen the last of Acaridian, it makes appearances in just about every episode.

DreamWorks 3Below: Tales of Arcadia premieres December 21 on Netflix.

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