Dean DeBlois has had quite a bit of success in animation. He’s been nominated for two Oscars for the first two How to Train Your Dragon movies, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he’s nominated a third time for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. But now he’s going to be turning to live-action by adapting the Hasbro toy line Micronauts.
DeBlois will write and direct the movie, which is based on the 1970s toy line that lead to Marvel Comics series. Per THR, “The comics told of a Microverse in which diverse worlds were linked together and in which a power mad dictator named Baron Karza kills the royal family, taking control. A small group of eclectic characters – a pilot awoken from a centuries-long deep sleep, alien gladiators, survivors of the coup – band together to form a resistance.” Fun fact: if you’re wondering why Marvel uses the term “Quantum Realm” in their movies, it’s because the term “Microverse” is owned by Hasbro.
Micronauts has been in various stages of development for a while now. Back in 2009, J.J. Abrams was set to produce an adaptation and then in 2015 Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese took a crack at the script. Paramount and Hasbro also considered making their own interconnected toy universe with Micronauts sharing the same world as G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., ROM, and Visionaries. All of that appears to be out the window with the new take being described as “centering on a group of intergalactic explorers.”
The key hire here is DeBlois. I don’t think Micronauts is going to have the same level of brand recognition as Transformers and G.I. Joe, but that’s okay if the story is good, and DeBlois has repeatedly shown himself to be a gifted storyteller. If putting an adventure story about intergalactic explorers has to be put under the Micronauts banner in order to appease Viacom and Hasbro shareholders, then so be it. After hitting it out of the park with the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, I’ll happily see whatever DeBlois puts together.
Micronauts is currently set to open on June 4, 2021.