Happy Death Day brought some refreshing energy into the slasher genre, mixing a little of old and new to delight horror fans.
While the sequel didn’t hit quite the same, we still saw a budding franchise led by the always-excellent Jessica Rothe. While a third entry was developing, the lackluster reception to the sequel paused conversations.
Director Christopher Landon is opening up about the third Happy Death Day, and the future looks grim. In a new interview with The Wrap to promote Netflix’s We Have a Ghost [read our review here], the filmmaker said it was time for him to open up about the third film, as it seems unlikely it will happen soon.
Landon tells The Wrap, “I have to still keep it in my pocket on the off-chance … because here’s the thing, it’s not time-sensitive. You know what I mean? I could make that movie whenever if they allowed me to. At some point, I’m just going to spill the beans. I had a full pitch. There was a whole movie that was ready to go in my brain. We’ll see what happens.”
What exactly did he have planned? The filmmaker would take the franchise in a new direction and show a time-loop-filled end of the world. Landon explains, “The third movie was going to be an epic apocalyptic adventure with some elements of horror. That was not getting left behind. But yeah, we were going to change gears again, and it was going to be bigger.”
Happy Death Day, released in 2017, was a success for Blumhouse and Universal, bringing in $125 million worldwide on a $4.8 million budget. Fans and critics praised it, and a sequel was released barely two years later. Happy Death Day 2U was released in 2019 and didn’t hit the same heights; the sequel grossed $64 million worldwide against $9 million.
Christopher Landon would later move on to a similarly gimmicked horror film, releasing the body-swap slasher Freaky in 2021, becoming another moderate critical and commercial success. The filmmaker also dropped We Have a Ghost on Netflix this year, holding a critical approval rating of 43% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Happy Death Day films star Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ryan Phan, Suraj Sharma, Ruby Modine, and Steve Zissis.