The end is nigh for Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny Baudelaire (Presley Smith), but A Series of Unfortunate Events showrunner Barry Sonnenfeld promises that the third and final season of Netflix’s adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s miserable children’s series is “the most emotional season yet. It’s got a lot of action, and the kids have become much more proactive and less victims.”
Adapting the final four books of the series — The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, and The End — season 3 follows the Baudelaire orphans as they continue to evade the villainous Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) while digging deeper in the mysterious secret organization that has been part of their lives since the beginning. While some fans may have been disappointed by The End’s open-ended conclusion, Sonnenfeld assures EW that he, the writers, and author Daniel Handler worked together to craft an ending that remained true to the final book but also expanded on it.
“When you see ‘The End’, you’ll think that it’s what Daniel always had in mind, though it’s not,” he says. “It wraps up in such a strong way that you may think we came up with the idea at the beginning of the first season.”
Click through to get a first look at season 3.
Hello, Kit Snicket
The season 2 finale introduced Allison Williams as Lemony Snicket’s (Patrick Warburton) sister, Kit, and viewers can obviously expect her to cross paths with the Baudelaires in the final season.
“She plays a bigger role in the show than she did in the books,” says Sonnenfeld, who cast the Girls actress in the role after running into her in a British Airways lounge a year ago. “I just looked at her and I thought, ‘She’s Kit!’ She’s sporty, she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s self-confident, and she’s beautiful, which are all the attributes Kit has.”
Furthermore, Jacques Snicket’s (Nathan Fillion) cab, which you can see in the image, will also have a bigger presence in the final season. “The cab becomes sort of a minor character in our show,” Sonnenfeld says.
Under the sea
At one point this season, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny will find themselves stuck underwater in a submarine, and Sonnenfeld commends the young actors for wearing those heavy scuba suits during filming.
“Those kids were troopers because it was hot in those outfits,” he says. “Presley had to wear this very hot, big, heavy outfit that we had to add monofilament to and hold them up, just because they couldn’t take the weight of the helmet they were wearing and the suit that they were wearing.”
Submarine fashion show
No matter where Esme Squalor (Lucy Punch) is, you can count on her showing off her unique sense of fashion, even on a submarine.
“The great thing about Esmé is that she somehow, off camera, has the best hair stylist, the best makeup people, and the best wardrobe people,” says Sonnenfeld. “So those tentacles you’re seeing are actually inflatable. They were designed and inflated so that they would be erect like that and not just flopped down. They were horribly squeaky.”
In season 3, Count Olaf and Esmé end up taking in Carmelita Spats (Kitana Turnbull), who insists on dressing like a tap-dancing fairy veterinarian in the adjacent photo.
Peak Count Olaf
Of course, there’s the matter of Count Olaf, who is never too far behind the Baudelaires.
“He’s scarier, a little more unhinged, a little bit harder to reason with,” Sonnenfeld says of Neil Patrick Harris’ onscreen alter ego in season 3.
This image is actually one of Sonnenfeld’s favorites from the season. “The reason I love this image so much is because, one, it’s Neil Patrick Harris playing Olaf, and I wanted a great close-up of him where he looks villainous. Second of all, the whole three seasons have been about fire and the relationship of Olaf to fire.”
He adds, “I just loved that he had this demonic look.”
A Series of Unfortunate Events will launch in early 2019 on Netflix.
A version of this story appears in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, or buy one of two Julia Roberts covers online. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.