How To Train Your Dragon is the kind of animated film that gets better with repeated viewings. Hell, I wasn’t even sold at first, but after being convinced to give the movie a second chance, I found myself appreciating it more. What I did particularly enjoy in round deux however, was that it was a done-in-one story. Still, How To Train Your Dragon is just a part of a bigger story, that continues in the sequel that has done a jump to the left and gone forward a few years.
Which will eventually be met by a third and final film. Or a fourth, according to one surprised director.
According to writer/director Dean Deblois, How To Train Your Dragon is the middle chapter film of his trilogy. The thing is, the first film made a mad stack of cash, and buzz is already positive on the sequel. If it succeeds, a third movie is guaranteed. But don’t expect Dreamworks to give up on a potential cashcow, as a fourth film would most likely.
Speaking at the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival (via SlashFilm), Dublois commented on the upcoming sequels, and the possible extension of the franchise into a quadrilogy. Warning, there’s a massive spoiler below, so I’d stop reading right now if I were you because I can only stretch a sentence for so long and have you stopped yet because this more than an ample warning okay let’s go:
When I was approached about a sequel, I said will you consider it to be the middle act of a three act trilogy? Therefore we’re not just inventing a random other adventure that you cast the same 5 or 6 characters into and graft on a problem that feels artificial. So by meeting Hiccup at this later stage of his life he’s now dealing with an organic and universal problem that many of us go through at that stage. But it is the middle chapter heading toward the culmination of Hiccup’s final coming of age.
And the intention is to be very conscious of where we came from in the first movie and where we’re heading in the third. So I’ve been working on a running outline for sometime and I know we’re going to get to the point where Cressida Cowell books start which is Hiccup, as an adult, looking back on his life and saying “There were dragons when I was a boy.” There’s something really powerful and emotional about that that hits you in the gut. And I think it could be bittersweet and beautiful. But how they disappear? What happened and what leads them to that point? That’s the stuff of the third movie. We’re always very conscious to make sure the threads we’re pulling forward are from the first film and paying off in the second are also embedding storylines for the third.
It’s an interesting hook for a third film, innit? There’s no problem with extending a franchise really, so long as it has a story that is worth pursuing and developing. Otherwise, we’d just end up with another Star Trek: We’re too damn old for this crap. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is out this month.
Last Updated: June 5, 2014