Universal Pictures will copy Disney’s ‘winning’ formula of bringing some of its most popular and blockbuster animated productions to live-action adaptations, and will begin to do so with the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sorry haters, but this decision went from being just an idea to a full-fledged pre-production project, and what’s more: Universal has already announced the tentative release date of the film: March 14, 2025, and revealed that the casting process for the actors who will give life to Hiccup and his friends has also started.
What We Know About the How to Train your Dragon Live-Action Film
One of the most important facts about this live-action adaptation is that it already has a director, writer, and main producer: Dean DeBlois, the filmmaker in charge of the original animated trilogy. This is DeBlois’ live-action film directorial debut, so it’s quite a challenge for him; however, film and theater veteran Marc Platt, whose credits include productions such as Legally Blonde, La La Land, and Wicked, will be there to support him on the production side through his firm, Marc Platt Productions.
One of the great challenges that the project will have to confront will be the fact of bringing the animated dragons to versions that look realistic but that, in turn, do not lose the charm they had in the original trilogy, so, according to some sources from The Hollywood Reporter, this project could be very risky for Universal.
Until now, it is not known for sure if Universal actually plans to compete with Disney in the live actions inspired by animated films area, because it is not known if the production company is planning to put together a cinematographic universe that adapts other large DreamWorks productions, such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, or Madagascar.
How to Train Your Dragon: A High-Ranking Franchise
The future live-action production will be inspired by the animated trilogy that had great success in the 2010s under the production of DreamWorks Animation. Precisely, the first film came to the big screen in 2010 and got nominations for the Oscar Awards for Best Animated Film and Best Score.
The entire trilogy was a great monetary success for both DreamWorks and Comcast, the company that owns the production firm of animated films and series, as well as Universal Pictures since it managed to raise more than 1.6 billion dollars at the box office.
In addition, the franchise also achieved derivative series that have been broadcast on television channels, such as Cartoon Network, and streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max, among which stand out: Dragons: Riders of Berg, Dragons: Race to the Edge, and Dragons: The Nine Kingdoms.
The stories in each production were loosely based on author Cressida Cowell’s book saga, which centered on the special friendship between a young Viking named Hiccup and a wounded dragon he seeks to heal, named Toothless.
However, the plots of the movies and the series went even further, showing the great efforts of Hiccup and Toothless to combat humanity’s prejudices about their possible friendship with dragons, as well as other quite strongly human troubles, such as the loss of a loved one or the arrival of the first love.
In each segment, the characters aged together, until they got to the last film, where they decided to take different paths to protect their future families and take responsibility as leaders of their own towns, making this story an allegory for young and old about the true meaning of growth and maturation.
Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva