Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon live-action remake casts Mason Thames and Nico Parker as Hiccup and Astrid.
For once, a Hiccup in development is a good thing. As covered by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal’s live-action remake of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon has cast The Black Phone actor Mason Thames as its lead character, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. Nico Parker, known for her role as Joel’s daughter in HBO’s The Last of Us, will ride alongside Thames as Hiccup’s friend Astrid Hofferson.
Loosely based on the books by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon kicked off a franchise in 2010 with the story of Hiccup, a scrawny Viking boy who feels like a misfit in a culture built on dragon slaying. To prove his worth, Hiccup shoots down and injures a rare Night Fury dragon but does not have the heart to kill it.
Hiccup bonds with the dragon in secret and learns that the war between humans and dragons is fueled by misunderstanding. Hiccup learns to ride the dragon, who he names Toothless, and brings peace to two species long ripped apart by violence.
The reboot of How to Train Your Dragon will mark the live-action directorial debut of Dean DeBlois, the screenwriter, and director behind the animated trilogy of films. DeBlois is also writing the reboot, which is slated for a March 2025 release.
The How to Train Your Dragon franchise was a massive draw for DreamWorks Animation for nearly a decade. From 2010 to 2019, its titles earned over $1 billion at the box office. The trilogy soared with critics and audiences alike, with each film earning at least a 90 percent critics score and never falling below 86 percent with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Now Mason Thames and Nico Parker will succeed voice actors Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera, who voiced Hiccup and Astrid in the animated films. Thames and Parker are up-and-comers in Hollywood. Both have appeared in prestigious projects, but How to Train Your Dragon will shine the spotlight on these fresh faces in a very big way.
The search for Hiccup and Astrid has gone on for quite some time. The How to Train Your Dragon trilogy follows its lead characters from pre-teens to adults, and the team on the reboot wanted to find actors who could grow in a similar way across multiple films.
That means Thames and Parker will stick together for several years to come. In the animated trilogy, Hiccup and Astrid are opposites who struggle to relate to each other. As they mature, they grow together and eventually start a family, making their story a full-circle coming-of-age tale.
In addition to How to Train Your Dragon, Mason Thames is also at work on the high school party comedy Incoming, and will star opposite Mel Gibson in the 90s adventure thriller Boys of Summer. Nico Parker will star alongside Woody Harrelson in Suncoast, a drama from first-time director Laura Chinn.
The Night Fury has not taken to the skies since 2019’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. That film brought the series to an emotional and powerful conclusion. Scheduled to release six years after that bittersweet ending, the reboot will again tell the story of Hiccup, Astrid, and Toothless for new and old audiences.