UPDATE: For a complete guide of everything we know about the film so far, see here.
DreamWorks Animation is set to undergo a restructuring effort over the coming months, with the company deeming three full-scale animation features per year to be “too ambitious.” Such a change of tact now means that How to Train Your Dragon 3 won’t hit theaters until 2018 as opposed to 2017, but that hasn’t stopped director Dean DeBlois from ruminating on the direction of the sequel.
According to the filmmaker, the planned sequel will see Hiccup and Toothless at the top of their game, eventually teeing up an arc that would see the dragons naturally recede into the distance.
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Here’s what DeBlois had to say on the threequel.
“[Dragon 3 is] the culmination of Hiccup’s coming of age. Both he and Toothless are now chiefs of their respective tribes, and it’s a dueling story where you have both characters trying to do what’s right for their kind, and an eventual outcome where Hiccup is able to stand on his own. We’re gonna take the story to where the books begin, which is Hiccup as an adult reflecting back on a time where there were dragons, suggesting that the dragons will in some way go away. Why and could they come back and the mystery of what all that is will be saved for the actual story.”
At the time of writing, it’s understood that work is still being done on the screenplay for How to Train Your Dragon 3, and while fans will be disappointed to hear that the film won’t make its way to theaters for another three years, DeBlois reaffirmed that this particular iteration is being set up as the finale. After all, both DreamWorks and the filmmaker have long made it clear that a fourth film isn’t likely.
Following the recent internal changes at DreamWorks, How To Train Your Dragon 3 is now slated to swoop into theaters on July 29, 2018.