How to Train Your Dragon is getting a live-action adaptation. As per a new report, Universal Pictures has officially green-lit the project and aims for a March 14, 2025 theatrical release. Dean DeBlois, who made the original Oscar-nominated animated films, is returning to write, direct, and produce the live-action version. Marking his debut live-action feature, the film will adapt the plot of the animated movies, rather than continue the arc. This would also be unique in that the same director who worked on an animated version has been brought on for a live-action remake.
As per a report in The Hollywood Reporter, sources claim that the casting process is already underway. As one of DreamWorks Animation's most prized possessions, How to Train Your Dragon follows the adventures of a misfit aspiring dragon hunter Hiccup, who ends up befriending an injured dragon he calls Toothless, and learns about the nature of the majestic creature. Based on the books by author Cressida Cowell, the first film grossed $494.9 million (about Rs. 4,090 crore) at the global box office and amassed critical success upon release. The 2014 sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, brought back the lead characters as adults, as they embarked on a new mission to seek Hiccup's mother. It grossed $618.9 million (5,114 crore) worldwide.
How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World capped off the trilogy with a new adventure that saw Hiccup and Toothless going up against Grimmel the Grisley, a hired dragon hunter. Against a production budget of $129 million (about Rs. 1,066 crore), the third film in the trilogy made $521.8 million (about Rs. 4,311 crore). All three Dragon movies were nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, with Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder) voicing Hiccup. While Universal Pictures seems uber-confident about the film to the point of already dropping a release date, past live-action remakes from competitor Disney have proven futile, partly owing to how unrealistic the CGI looks.
Jon Favreau, who helmed the 2019 live-action adaptation of The Lion King, was so hell-bent on making the beasts appear realistic, that the end result seemed lifeless — the animals' faces didn't express an ounce of emotion when compared to the original 1997 2D version. Unless they are unable to find the right balance between making the dragons appear appealing and friendly while maintaining realism, this seems like a big risk for Universal. “The studio worked hard on trying to find the right and palatable budget for several months before finally giving the go-ahead for the project,” the report adds. For now, it is unclear whether Universal plans on making live-action adaptations of its other DreamWorks projects, with Shrek in particular seeming like a good candidate for a future live-action adaptation.
How to Train Your Dragon live-action movie soars into theatres March 14, 2025.
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