Jason Blum confirmed in a tweet last month that a Happy Death Day threequel is in development and we've got theories.
This week, we took a birthday horror journey and concluded our film marathon on a double feature that included Happy Death Day (2017) and Happy Death Day 2U (2019). There are light spoilers ahead for both films—you've been warned. While the orignial is a horror-comedy—with a ringtone jingle bound to get stuck in your head just thinking about it—the film skillfully navigates the time-loop trope offered up in Groundhog Day (1993). While the horror of having to repeat the same day is bad enough, protagonist Tree Gelbman also relives her death, resetting the day to solve her own murder. As death leaves lingering negative effects on her body, she races against the clock before she's dies for good.
Happy Death Day 2U takes a deeper dive into the science-fiction, adventure and comedic elements of the original while its horror elements still firmly ground it lightheartedly in the genre. The second installment kicks up the time-loop aspect of the franchise as it's revealed why Tree got caught in the loop to begin with. With the genre blender on puree, things get even zanier with the exploration of the time-loop phenomena and new or sparesly seen supporting characters from the first film. The best comparison would be to liken it to the Back To The Future trilogy where a change to events in the past create other dimensions with alternate realities. We discover that the science nerds, including Ryan—Carter's roommate who we briefly meet in Happy Death Day—have created not one, but two dimensional tears resulting in three active universes.
By the time the credits roll in Happy Death Day 2U we believe that time hasn't been fully restored and at least two universes still exist. As far as we know, "Other Ryan" is still in the lab dressed like a cat burglar. However, in a post-credits scene Ryan explains to his fellow scientists, Tree and Carter—while doing community service—that when Tree returned to her home dimenson, it acted like a sling-shot with the jump creating a vaccum by the centrifugal force closing the loop. When Tree jumped, time further fractured creating DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) led by Dr. Isaac Parker (Kenneth Israel). Dr. Parker brings the college students to a DARPA lab revealing they now have SISSY and want to test its potential to trap people in time loops. Tree volunteers her frenemy Danielle (Rachel Matthews) as SISSY's new victim. We're left with Danielle waking up screaming in her dorm room, apparently stuck in her own time loop.
Happy Death Day 3 is all set up to take a new direction. Sadly, I don't think we'll be getting a Back to the Future style western with each new film taking on a new genre, but director Christopher Landon already has an idea for the film in mind. In a "Hey You Guys" YouTube interview, posted June 28, 2021, Landon discussed a potential Freaky (2020) and Happy Death Day 3 crossover. Landon said, "We've been trying and talking a lot about making Happy Death Day 3 and I've had the idea for some time now and I know everybody wants to do it. It's a Universal thing, you know, they have to decide whether they want to make a third film or not because if they do, I think we're all ready to go for it. We might see another Freaky or we might see a Freaky—Happy Death Day crossover, you know, there's all kinds of possibilities, so we'll see what happens."
Both Landon and Happy Death Day star Jessica Rothe are eager to make a third film. Wouldn't it be interesting if the new film further blends genres by taking the horror elements of Happy Death Day, the science fiction elements of Happy Death Day 2U and adds a supernatural elements, like magic and a body-swap to Happy Death Day 3. If Freaky and the Happy Death Day franchise do exist in the same universe, I'd be interested to see how an expanded narrative will bring the characters from both films together, especially with Mille (Kathryn Newton) making her way to college in Boston.
We found that fictional Bayfield University, where Tree attends college, is actually Loyola University in New Orleans, but the film to our knowledge never states where Tree's university is located. If Bayfield is in Louisiana, the likelihood of these two final girls meeting at college is slim, but we hope Landon finds a way to make it happen. However, we don't think Mille will be pledging Kappa Pi Lambda if her college plans do change. If we are moving further outside the horror genre, what will the next genre the franchise tackles be? It's hard to say, but we look forward to finding out.