The Filmmaker Behind How to Train Your Dragon Will Venture to Treasure Island

Treasure Island, as seen in the 1950 Disney adaptation of the novel.
Photo: Disney

If there’s one thing we know for a fact that filmmaker Dean DeBlois can do, it’s bring sweeping adventures on land, air, and sea to life on the screen—and that’s what he’ll soon try to do with a literary classic.

According to Deadline, DeBlois—who’s best known for writing and directing the How to Train Your Dragon trilogyhas been tapped by Universal Pictures to make a new, live-action version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary novel Treasure Island. He’ll direct and work on the story with Evan Spiliotopoulos, who’ll pen the screenplay.

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Though he’s previously only done animation, just last week DeBlois signed to make a Micronauts movie for Paramount. According to the report, that film has a 2021 release date so he’s likely to make that before Treasure Island. The writer, Spiliotopoulos, is best known for writing the 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake, so he too knows a thing or two about taking something familiar and breathing fresh life into it.

That’ll be the task with Treasure Island, which has been adapted dozens of times over the years for both movies and TV. The most famous, probably, is the one pictured above, the 1950 Disney version. But Orson Welles starred in a version, the Muppets did one, there was a star-studded TV version back in 2012, and there are about 30 others, if you choose to believe Wikipedia.

With the Pirates of the Caribbean movies seemingly at an end, there is certainly new room for a big-budget, exciting pirate adventure. And under the eye of DeBlois, Long John Silver may just be the character to make it happen.

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About the author

Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo