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So I have How to Train Your Dragon, which I just did my bit on and it's so beautiful I think it might be the best of the lot.
  Gerard Butler for Screen Rant[1]  

This is the page detailing the development and production process of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

The film's existence was first confirmed in December of 2010 by DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg who stated that the How to Train Your Dragon series is an "at least three" chapter story, a statement further backed up by Dean DeBlois' comments about the second film being intentionally written as the second part of a trilogy.

Development

This is what I'll say, and for whatever it's worth I do swear that this is not just promo nonsense. It's by far, the strongest of the stories. It's the movie that the series requires and deserves and it's the rightful third chapter; or third act, I should say. I don't think anybody will be disappointed.
  Jay Baruchel for JoBlo Movie Podcast[2]  

After Katzenberg's initial confirmation of How to Train Your Dragon 3's existence, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks announced in September 2012 an initial release date of June 18, 2016. Just over two years later, the release date was pushed back until 2017, with DeBlois explaining that the animation, writing, and storyboarding process takes a minimum of three years for each movie. 2014 also revealed that DeBlois had managed to talk to Katzenberg and talk him out of a fourth film, though he is open to the possibility of spin-offs.

In January 2015, following massive corporate restructuring and a change of plan to release two films a year instead of three, DreamWorks announced the current release date for How to Train Your Dragon 3 was confirmed to be June 29th, 2018. In June 2016, the release date moved up to May 18, 2018, taking The Lego Movie 2's release date, while The Lego Movie 2 was delayed until 2019. In December 2016, the film's release date was pushed back to March 1, 2019.

The film is being produced by Bonnie Arnold, directed by DeBlois and executive produced by both Chris Sanders and DeBlois. Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig have all be confirmed to be returning for How to Train Your Dragon 3. Cate Blanchett and Kit Harington will also reprise their roles from the second film. John Powell will also return as the film's composer.

In earlier drafts of the film, Drago Bludvist was planned to reprise his role as the main villain and be redeemed by the end of the story. In a recent interview with Cloneweb, it was revealed that Drago's redemption, and overall return, was scrapped halfway through the movie's production.[3]

In an earlier script of the film, Fishlegs was supposed to carry his baby Gronckle, Fishmeat, in a backpack. This was later changed to carrying the dragon in a pocket of Fishlegs' suit, due to the many ideas that the producers and Dean himself had of humorous moments between the two characters.[4]

Production

We're well on our way and it's gonna be a special one, I really think. Everything in me and my experience on it tells me that this is gonna be the pinnacle of the whole thing.
  Jay Baruchel for Collider[5]  

In 2014, both Cressida Cowell, the author of the original How to Train Your Dragon books, and DeBlois confirmed that, although the books and films have followed very different stories, they will both share the same ending of explaining why "dragons are no more".[6]

DeBlois also noted, in an interview with Collider in October 2014, that the story will have more emphasis on Toothless as he wants to continue showing an insight into their perspective of the dragon world. In the same interview, DeBlois also revealed that Drago's role was originally going to be the main antagonistic force in How to Train Your Dragon 3 before it was shifted to the second film and that he will become a much more complex villain for the third installment.[7]

In February 2015, during another interview with Collider at the VES Awards, DeBlois shared more details of the plot. He explained that the third film acts as the "culmination of Hiccup’s coming of age". After the events of the second film where Hiccup and Toothless have become the chief of Berk and Alpha Dragon, the story will focus on how both characters will be trying to do what's right for their kind, leading to an eventual outcome where Hiccup is able to stand on his own. The dragons' disappearance was also confirmed to be tied to this conclusion. DeBlois also confirmed that he was currently on Page 60 of writing the screenplay for the film. He also said the movie was going to have a bittersweet ending.

In April 2016, NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion for further future animation feature films.[8] Universal Pictures will take over the distribution for future DreamWorks Animation films, including How to Train Your Dragon 3.

In June 2016, the release date moved from June 29, 2018, to May 18, 2018.[9]

In December 2016, the release date was delayed and the new release will be released on March 1, 2019.[10]

HTTYD3 Otto Tweet

On September 29, 2017, Simon Otto tweeted that the first three scenes of the movie had been finalized, and posted a picture of some paperwork with the title of the scene cleverly obscured by a pencil.[11]

On October 5, 2017 in a keynote speech for Animation Dingle, Dean at one point talked about how he had to rewrite the script late last year and mentioned that after he had rewritten the script using the view of a film goer, that Steven Spielberg's response to having read the rewritten script was, "Insane Congratulations. I cannot believe what I just read and I had a problem reading the last part of it through my tears. It's a complete unqualified classic and better than the original. I've never witnessed this kind of transformation from the last two drafts I read to this one. I only wish I had points."[12]

On October 20, 2017, in an interview with HEYUGUYS, Gerard Butler said he's trying to get his friend and fellow actor Taron Egerton a small voice role in the movie.[13]

The film is promising to be visually stunning, the likes of which viewers have never seen before. In an interview, Kate Swanborg, Senior Vice President of Tech and Strategic Alliance for DreamWorks Animation, said they're creating a "vast world"-

Our next film is How To Train Your Dragon 3. So here we are at what I believe is maybe the culmination of his set of stories around the dragons and around Toothless and Hiccup and we are designing and developing a brand new world within this film that we've never seen before in the other two films."
It is vast. Spacially it's supposed to be just huge – so many football fields I can’t even tell you. There's water and light and space and it's stunning and crazy and there's gonna be just tonnes of dragons in it. Figuring out how to put that on screen right now is one of the biggest challenges and most inspirational things we are doing at the studio. It is going to be jaw-dropping!'
  — Kate Swanborg for Verdict UK, November 6, 2017  


The number of digital workstations is said to have almost doubled for the film, giving the animators the ability to do things they've never been able to before, and in record speed. Dave Valvoord, Visual Effects Supervisor of DreamWorks Animation, said in an interview that compared to what they're working on for the third movie makes How to Train Your Dragon 2 look dated.

Because we're calculating light correctly, it's completely changing the richness of the films. In fact, if you watch clips from How to Train Your Dragon 2, they look very dated. What we're doing right now just doesn’t compare. It's really exciting.
  — Dave Valvoord for ECP, November 9, 2017  

On November 14, 2017, Deadline announced that F. Murray Abraham will be voicing a new villain, introduced as Grimmel. And rather than a Scottish accent, he'll do a deep-baritone voice in the classic villain sense.[14]

On January 4, 2018, it was confirmed in a YouTube video that Jónsi will be doing a song for the movie, like he had for the previous two.[15]

In an interview with Screen Rant in early January 2018, Gerard Butler suggested his voice work on the film was now finished.[16]

On April 17, 2018, DreamWorks posted to each of their social media accounts that the movie's official title will be How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Also on April 17th, a spokesperson for the Annecy International Animation Film Festival announced that attendees will get a special sneak peek at the film during its 2018 activities running June 11-16. Dean DeBlois and the HTTYD movies have had special links to the festival throughout the years, giving it the benefit of such a reveal.[17]

At Universal Pictures' presentation at CinemaCon 2018, "unfinished and unseen footage" was seen, revealing that the additional Night Fury will be white. Hiccup and Toothless are shown exploring a "hidden dragon world". Hiccup's age is estimated to be "20s".[18][19]

Also at CinemaCon 2018, it was explained that a hunter named Grimmel the Grisly is out to kill Toothless and the female Light Fury.[20]

On May 31, 2018, Dreamworks unveiled the first poster of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.[21] Also on the tweet, the teaser trailer of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was announced to be released on June 7, which also happens to be Dean Deblois' birthday.

On June 14, Dean Deblois appeared at the Annecy Animation Film Festival to give a sneak peek of the upcoming movie, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

On September 15, Dean Deblois, Brad Lewis, Cameron Bailey, and Jay Baruchel, the voice of Hiccup, appeared at the Toronto Internation Film Festival to give a behind-the-scenes look of the upcoming movie, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World along with questions and answers from the audience about the 3rd and final installment of the movie.

On September 27, the release date of the movie changed from March 1, 2019 to a week earlier, on February 22, 2019.

On October 25, the second trailer for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released.

References

  1. Moore, Rose. (Date Published - January 18, 2018). Gerard Butler on his work on 'Den of Thieves'. Screen Rant.
  2. Wist, Sean. (Date Published - March 24, 2017). EXCLUSIVE: JAY BARUCHEL ON THE STRONG STORY OF HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3. Jo Blo.
  3. Dragons 3 Le Monde Caché : Rencontre avec Dean DeBlois et Brad Lewis. (Date Posted - June 22, 2018). YouTube.
  4. How to Train Your Dragon 3: Meet The Hidden World's new Dragons. (Date Posted - February 01, 2019). EW.com.
  5. Radish, Christina. (Date Published - September 5, 2017). Jay Baruchel on Directing 'Goon 2' & the Status of 'How to Train Your Dragon 3'. Collider.
  6. Neish, Steven. (Date Published - August 14, 2012). Author Cressida Cowell Talks How To Train Your Dragon Sequels. HEYUGUYS.
  7. Chitwood, Adam. (Date Published - October 16, 2014). Dean DeBlois Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 and Potential Spinoffs; Says He's Talked Jeffrey Katzenberg Down from the Idea of DRAGON 4. Collider.
  8. Lang, Brent and Littleton, Cynthia. (Date Published - April 28, 2016). NBCUniversal to Acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 Billion. Variety.
  9. Schaefer, Sandy. (Date Published - June 19, 2016). How to Train Your Dragon 3 Takes LEGO Movie 2's Old Release Date. Screen Rant.
  10. Gallagher, Brian. (Date Published - December 5, 2016). How to Train Your Dragon 3 Delayed, Gets New 2019 Release Date MovieWeb.
  11. "Just got our first 3 #HTTYD3 shots finaled and approved!! 😝💥#animdailies" (Date Posted - September 30, 2017). Twitter.
  12. Animation Dingle 2017 Keynote - Dean DeBlois. (Date Posted - October 5, 2017). YouTube.
  13. Pape, Stefan. (Date Published - October 20, 2017). Exclusive: Gerard Butler on Geostorm, Angel Has Fallen and How to Train Your Dragon 3. HEYUGUYS.
  14. D'Alessandro, Anthony. (Date Published - November 14, 2017). F. Murray Abraham To Get Evil For DreamWorks Animation's 'How To Train Your Dragon 3'. Deadline.
  15. Kyzer, Larissa. (Date Published - January 14, 2018). Jónsi to Write Song for Final "How to Train Your Dragon" Film. Iceland Review.
  16. Moore, Rose. (Date Published - January 18, 2018). Gerard Butler on his work on 'Den of Thieves'. Screen Rant.
  17. Milligan, Mercedes. (Date Published - April 17, 2018). DreamWorks Animation Unveils Annecy 2018 Line-Up. Animation Magazine.
  18. "Just got a first look at How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Looks perfectly in line with the others, which are great. This time Toothless finds love in a white-colored Night Fury and they discover a hidden dragon world. Love these movies, so can’t wait! #CinemaCon". (Date Posted - April 25, 2018). Twitter.
  19. "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 looks like it’s going to offer vivid, robust inmates as the characters explore a “hidden dragon” world and as Toothless meets a LIGHTfury, a creature like him. I loved the first two and this one looks just as good. #Universal #Cinemacon #CinemaCon2018". (Date Posted - April 25, 2018). Twitter.
  20. Universal CinemaCon 2018 Reactions Including Previews of 'Glass', 'Halloween', Damien Chazelle's 'Fi. (Date Posted - April 25, 2018). YouTube.
  21. "@DWAnimation In ONE WEEK, see the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. #HowToTrainYourDragon". (Date Posted - May 31, 2018). Twitter.
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