Trolls 3 Will Return The Franchise To Theaters In 2023

Since Troll dolls are clearly immortal, it's only fitting that their movie franchise continues to live forever. The inspiring adventures of Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake), two trolls who live in a magical musical kingdom, will continue on in a currently untitled third film in the franchise. Hoorah? While the main cast members are assumed to reprise their roles, there's no official word on anyone's return, including franchise director Walt Dohrn.

Back in 2016, the infamous brightly colored, vaguely-terrifying toys made their way into theaters for an explosively musical animated film. The tried to make their return to the big screen with the 2020 sequel "Trolls World Tour," but the COVID-19 pandemic made a theatrical release pretty difficult — so after a brief window of 17 days, the film ultimately made its PVOD premiere and grossed upwards of $100 million. The first film, which enjoyed an unhindered box office performance, grossed over $350 million, so making a third movie is a no-brainer. The brand recognition and previous performances speak for themselves.

As of now, returning to theaters is the plan: Universal has set a release date for the third film on November 17, 2023 (via Variety). Arriving just before Thanksgiving, the film could easily thrive with the extra boost of a holiday weekend. Plus, this presents the rest of us with a wonderful window of opportunity in case anyone wants to, I dunno, start a podcast and troll their way into the movie? That kinda thing could work twice in a row, right?

The Trolls Franchise Lives On

The trolls brand continues to grow, including an NBC Holiday special premiering this week on Friday, November 26. "Trolls Holiday in Harmony" is a 30 minute animated special that reunites cast members Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick and many more. Here's a brief synopsis:

As the holidays near, Queen Poppy plans the First Annual Trolls Kingdom Secret Holiday Gift Swap. But things take an unexpected turn when she and Branch draw each other's name. Meanwhile Tiny Diamond comes down with a bad case of writers' block, trying to think of a special holiday rap for his dad.

Believe it or not, "Trolls World Tour" has been a rich source of news in the last few years. In 2020, it caused some major, industry-altering controversy. AMC Theaters basically declared war on Universal after the studio proposed a day-and-date release in theaters and on PVOD. In response, the theater chain announced that it would no longer screen Universal movies. Of course, this was later walked back and mended once the pair came to an agreement and shortened the theatrical window to 17 days, down from the typical three months. This is old news to us now, when same day releases and shorter theatrical windows have become achingly familiar. This drama could've become the legacy of the Trolls franchise, but Universal just wouldn't let it happen — thus we get "Trolls 3." The third Trolls movie is expected to follow the agreement of a short theatrical window, in which AMC gets an undisclosed share of the PVOD returns.

Who knows what kind of chaos "Trolls 3" will unleash upon the world?! No one bobbing their head to Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop This Feeling: back in 2016 could've predicted the insane circumstances that would bring "Trolls World Tour" to its audience. You might be tempted to try envisioning the world this upcoming Trolls movie will arrive in, but we should probably just accept that it's utterly unimaginable.