EXCLUSIVE: I hear that Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe winning filmmaker Dean DeBlois and his Anvil Pictures banner has signed a first look production deal with Universal for his live-action and hybrid projects and an exclusive overall animation deal with Dreamworks Animation. In addition, DeBlois is putting into development with Uni the live-action-hybrid project Storybook Ending which he will write, direct as well as produce alongside Bill Teitler who co-penned the story with the How to Train Your Dragon filmmaker.
“Dean is an amazing storyteller, who created visually stunning worlds and heart-warming adventures with his brilliant How to Train Your Dragon series, and we are confident that our partnership will continue to yield memorable results in the live action space as well,” said Universal Pictures President Peter Cramer.
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“For over ten years, Dean has been an integral part of the fabric of Dreamworks,” said DWA President Margie Cohn about the filmmaker whose How to Train Your Dragon trilogy has delivered over $1.6 billion at the global box office. “His gift for emotional and timeless storytelling is unparalleled and we can’t wait to collaborate with him on future films.”
“Working on the final installment of the Dragon trilogy these past few years with Donna, Peter and their teams at Universal, I have seen first-hand the attention and passion they give to all of their films,” said DeBlois. “Along with my continued collaboration with Margie and Dreamworks Animation, I’m thrilled to be embarking on this partnership with Universal to create new and exciting live-action and hybrid projects.”
DeBlois is also in development at Universal with Treasure Island, an action adventure inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, which he will direct as well as produce alongside Mandeville Films. Additional upcoming projects include Paramount’s Micronauts, a live-action take on the Hasbro toy line, which DeBlois will write and direct.
In addition to the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, previous hits for DeBlois include writing and directing Disney’s Oscar-nominated Lilo & Stitch with Chris Sanders. He then stepped behind the live-action camera to direct the indie critical darling Heima, which documents alternative/post-rock band Sigur Rós’ series of free unannounced concerts performed in their home country of Iceland. He also previously served as head of story on the Disney hit Mulan.
DeBlois is represented by WME and Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark.
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