DreamWorks Animation is taking a page out of Disney’s remake book. The animated film franchise “How to Train Your Dragon” will receive a new live action film from Universal Pictures, set for worldwide release on March 14, 2025.
The film will be written and directed by Dean DeBlois, the filmmaker behind the three animated “How to Train Your Dragon” films released between 2010 and 2019. It will be DeBlois’ live action narrative film debut, after directing the “Dragon” trilogy, Disney’s beloved 2002 animated feature “Lilo & Stitch,” and 2007 documentary “Heima.”
Based loosely on the book series by Cressida Cowell, the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise is set in mythical Berk: a viking village where the residents train to fight and kill attacking dragons. Main character Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel in the original movies) is the awkward outcast son of chieftain Stoick (Gerard Butler), and struggles to prove himself worthy of serving as a warrior for the village. After successfully capturing a rare dragon known as a Night Fury, Hiccup gradually begins to befriend the creature and names it “Toothless.” Soon, the two go on a quest to end the war between their two races.
The original 2010 “How to Train Your Dragon,” which DeBlois co-directed with Chris Sanders (before helming the final two entries himself), received critical acclaim and grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. All three films received nominations for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and collectively grossed $1.6 billion globally. The success of the films spawned a series of animated TV series, including “Dragons: Riders of Berk,” “Rescue Riders,” and “The Nine Realms.”
The live action remake will be produced by Marc Platt, the producer of “La La Land” and the upcoming film adaptation of “Wicked,” and Adam Siegel via the Marc Platt Productions banner. Universal’s Vice President of Production Development Lexi Barta will oversee the film on behalf of the studio.
“How to Train Your Dragon” is the first DreamWorks Animation film to make the jump to live action; other franchises from the studio include “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “The Boss Baby,” and “Shrek.” The film’s announcement comes after Walt Disney Pictures found success remaking their animated properties in live action, with “The Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “Mulan” being a few of the beloved Disney films to get the remake treatment. In addition, May will see the release of a “Little Mermaid” live action film, starring Halle Bailey and Melissa McCarthy.
DeBlois is represented by WME and Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark.
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