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Dean DeBlois to Write and Direct ‘Micronauts’ for Paramount / Hasbro

Creative force behind DreamWorks Animation’s hit ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ film trilogy takes on the live-action action figure-inspired film project previously under development with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot.

Dean DeBlois, fresh from wrapping up his much-heralded How to Train Your Dragon trilogy at DreamWorks Animation, has moved on to Paramount, where he will write and direct the live-action Micronauts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Hasbro’s Brian Goldner, Stephen Davis and Greg Mooradian will produce through the company's film division, AllSpark Pictures. The studio has set a June 4, 2021 release date.

Micronauts is based on a Japanese action figure toy line, Micronauts, manufactured and marketed by Mego from 1976 to 1980, which itself was derived and licensed from the Microman toy line created by the Japanese toy company, Takara, in 1974. Micronauts was discontinued in 1980 when Mego went into bankruptcy. A Marvel Comics run as well as several attempts at resurrecting the brand followed before Hasbro announced in 2009 that it was re-introducing the toy line, while hinting at a J.J. Abrams film project through Bad Robot. Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick had been attached as scriptwriters.

DeBlois came onto the mainstream animation radar in a big way with the 2002 Disney release of Lilo & Stitch, which he co-wrote and directed with Chris Sanders, a funny, emotionally uplifting and beautifully animated film that many consider his finest work and one of the best animated features the studio has produced in the last 30 years. He also created Lilo & Stitch: The Series with Sanders, which ran from 2003-2006, before leaving Disney for DreamWorks Animation, where the pair co-wrote and directed How to Train Your Dragon, released in 2010 to critical and box office success. DeBlois went on to write and direct the next two films in the Dragon saga himself, culminating in How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, which was released this past February. The three Dragon films have generated more than $1.6 billion at the global box office as well as a number of successful animated TV series.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.