Hiccup and Toothless in 'How To Train Your Dragon'
(Dreamworks Pictures)

Everything Will Be Live-Action—Except the Dragons, Presumably

The How To Train Your Dragon animated series captured the hearts and minds of a generation. Even those who aren’t fans of fantasy won’t be able to stop themselves from falling in love with the ever-adorable Toothless and his rider Hiccup. The franchise tells the story of a Viking society plagued by a pest of dragons—until Hiccup finds and wounds Toothless, before helping him recover and creating a permanent bond in the process.

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We won’t go into too many more details to avoid spoilers for the three movies within the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy (please, do yourself a favor and watch them if you haven’t already). However, excitingly for fans, the live-action train has now pulled into the How To Train Your Dragon station. Off the success of live-action adaptations like The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and so many more, Toothless and Hiccup will now also be translated into real-life counterparts on-screen. Well, Toothless will likely still be animated in some sense, seeing as dragons (sadly) don’t exist, but close enough!

When is How To Train Your Dragon‘s live-action release date?

The good news is that we already have a release date for How To Train Your Dragon in live-action. The bad news is that we’ve got a fair long while to wait, with a scheduled release of June 13, 2025. Universal Pictures started filming in June, 2023 but is experiencing delays due to the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. This could result in the release date also being pushed back, but there’s no confirmation on that either way at this stage.

The casting is already underway

Sarah Miller (Nico Parker) sticks her hand in the water from a sprinkler in a scene from 'The Last of Us'
(HBO)

Despite having delays to the filming schedule, the casting is already confirmed. The Black Phone‘s Mason Thames will star as Hiccup opposite Nico Parker, who you might know as Sarah in HBO’s The Last of Us, as Astrid.

Hiccup’s booming father Stoick will be played Gerald Butler from 300 and Olympus Has Fallen, while British comedian Nick Frost will play Gobber the Belch, the village blacksmith who mentors Hiccup and his friends in their dragon-training adventures.

The rest of the young gang will be played by Julian Dennison as Fishlegs, Gabriel Howell as Snotlout, Bronwyn James as Ruffnut, Harry Trevaldwyn as Tuffnut, and Ruth Codd as Phlegma.

We also know some of the production credits, with the feature film being directed by Dean DeBlois. In addition, three-time best picture Oscar nominee Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will produce via Marc Platt Productions, working alongside VP production development Lexi Barta overseeing on behalf of Universal. 

Will it differ from the animated version?

The plot of How To Train Your Dragon is expected to follow the same inspiration as the animated version: boy meets dragon, dragon learns to fly again, boy takes dragon home to meet the family. That old classic.

If the live-action movie is followed by more sequels, like the animated one, the plot of How To Train Your Dragon has already expanded to cover meaty topics of acceptance, the loss of a parent, young love, and prejudice in a variety of forms. A seemingly simple fantasy story was big enough to take on massive themes, which is half the reason why it’s so beloved among fans. If the live-action version is to work, then How To Train Your Dragon needs to capture this same heart that caught audience attention the first time around.

(featured image: Dreamworks Pictures)


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