It has been a full four years since Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe, graced the silver screen with her time-looping, slasher shenanigans in Happy Death Day 2U. The sequel to 2017’s Happy Death Day, it managed to pretty impressively continue the “Groundhog Day but horror” premise without making it feel tired. All the while, fans have been wondering whether or not director Christopher Landon will get to round out his trilogy. Blumhouse and Universal Pictures haven’t made any official moves on that front, but Landon would absolutely make the movie provided the opportunity. So, what’s the holdup?

Landon recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his new Netflix film We Have a Ghost. During the conversation, the filmmaker was asked if he’d rather green light a crossover between Happy Death Day and his body-swapping horror/comedy Freaky, or Happy Death Day 3. For Landon, the choice is clear.

“It would definitely be Happy Death Day 3. I have that movie in my head, and I know exactly what I want. It’s actually a bigger movie than the previous two films, and that’s part of the issue, ultimately. This third movie needs a bigger budget, but since the second movie didn’t perform as well as the first, it’s a tall order. But I’m still holding out hope that Universal will give me a chance because it would be a really fun conclusion.”


In essence, this all comes down to economics (as it so often does in this business). Just for context, Happy Death Day was a home run hit, taking in $125 million at the box office against very solid reviews and an extremely reasonable $5 million budget. Happy Death Day 2U cost $9 million to make, which is still low budget but nearly double the cost of the original. Yet, it took in just $64.6 million globally. Now that’s still a fine rate of return, but with the series trending downward commercially, it’s not entirely difficult to see why an even larger budget might be tough for the bean counters at the studio to sign off on.

One potentially viable avenue, for a time, seemed to be streaming. Maybe Netflix would pony up the dough to make it? Perhaps Peacock? Unfortunately, the pandemic upended all of Hollywood for a crucial year or so there, which didn’t help matters. Beyond that, most every studio and company in Hollywood has now, on the whole, begun to seriously cool down spending on streaming as the industry is experiencing a bit of a paradigm shift. Rather than “spend at all costs to get subscribers” it’s now more of a “figure out how to make streaming profitable quickly” sort of thing. Thus, a project like this will also face a tough time getting the green light that way.

We’re left in a place of uncertainty for the time being. Unfortunately, the more time that passes, the less likely it is that this is even possible, as the cast is all getting older and, presumably, Happy Death Day 3 would pick up very soon after the events of the second film. Not to spoil anything, but Happy Death Day 2U absolutely set the table for what could come. Alas, it remains an unresolved cliffhanger.

We Have a Ghost hits Netflix on February 24.

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