Universal Pictures has finally given the go signal for a How to Train Your Dragon live-action movie. Dean DeBlois, the man behind the animated film series, is taking the wheel as the director, producer, and writer. The project is reportedly in development and has received a March 14, 2025 release date. The casting process is also underway.
DreamWorks Animation created the trilogy in 2010, with the first installment receiving an Academy Award nomination for best score and best-animated film. The sequels both received Oscar nominations, earning more than $1.6 billion worldwide. The franchise proved to be a massive success for the studio.
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Dean DeBlois Returns To Direct And Write How to Train Your Dragon Live-Action
How to Train Your Dragon is based on the novel series by Cressida Cowell. The animated film follows a young and brave Viking named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who dreams of hunting dragons. He meets a dragon named Toothless, and together they venture into exciting quests and discover a different kind of friendship.
Indeed, the film is often labeled as a coming-of-age story, often leaning toward themes of family, love, and trust. DeBlois worked with Chris Sanders on the first installment and took the reins alone for the sequels.
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The upcoming project is DeBlois’ first try at helming live-action films, with the help of movie and theater producer, Marc Platt. The latter worked on Legally Blonde, La La Land, and the upcoming adaptation of Wicked.
The original voice cast included America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and TJ Miller. The franchise also spawned a TV series that premiered on streaming sites like Cartoon Network, Netflix, Peacock, and Hulu.
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DeBlois On A Decade-Worth Of Flying With Dragons
Dean DeBlois reflected on working with How to Train Your Dragon and the immense success of the franchise. In 2019, he spoke with EW and shared his ten-year journey flying with the dragons. When asked what he wanted to tell his younger self, the filmmaker said:
“I would say, ‘Don’t worry that you sidestepped live action to come back to animation, because it’s going to be a fun ride, and it’s going to be worth it.’”
When asked about the trilogy being an underrated franchise in the world of animation, DeBlois answered:
“It has garnered a very vocal and very fervent fanbase over the 10 years, and they’ve almost become more nervous and expectant than we were. We definitely had the sense that there were a group of passionate people saying, “Don’t screw it up,” and letting us know that via Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr, and every other social media platform. It kind of got bigger than us — these characters, this world.”
DeBlois also shared that he is open to anything for the live-action project. He revealed that he has to meet the right people and have the right conversations. Now that the project is rolling, fans would need to keep their eyes peeled for future updates about the franchise.
How to Train Your Dragon live-action is expected to hit theaters on March 14, 2025.
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