Live-action How to Train Your Dragon movie in the works

Published on: 16th February 2023

The new How to Train Your Dragon title from Universal has been slated for a March 2025 release with casting reportedly already underway.

Universal Pictures has started work on a How to Train Your Dragon live-action movie, with Dean DeBlois, the filmmaker behind the original animated trilogy, returning as writer, director and producer.

The project has already begun the development process, and Universal is planning a March 14th, 2025 release. The new movie will be adapted from the trilogy of movies from DreamWorks Animation which were released in the 2010s. The first movie earned Academy Award nominations for best animated film and best score, while the second and third instalments received best animated film nominations. The trilogy was a hit at the box office, grossing more than $1.6b, and the franchise spawned television series that aired on Cartoon Network, Netflix and Hulu.

Based on the books by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon focuses on the special friendship between a young Viking boy named Hiccup and Toothless, an injured dragon he nurses back to health. The movies followed Hiccup and Toothless’ quest to combat humanity’s prejudice against dragons and, as the protagonists were growing up along with the story, it was a true “coming-of-age” tale.

Having written and directed the first movie with Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois took sole charge of the 2014 and 2019 sequels, and will now make his live-action debut with the feature.

Universal follows in the footsteps of Disney, whose live-action adaptations of its animated classics have become a significant part of its agenda, with mixed audience reactions. Some commentators see the move as a gamble on Universal’s part; although a successful interpretation of the well-loved franchise could inspire future productions of other DreamWorks Animation movies in the live-action realm, a badly received version could potentially damage a classic franchise. However, this is the first time a live-action remake is being made by the same creator as the animated movies.

The animated movie releases saw a raft of toy partners launch product onto the market, with ranges from Spin Master, Posh Paws and Playmobil among those enjoying success.


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