It’s back to Berk for DreamWorks Animation — and back to work for the creative team behind the hit 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon.”
Referring to the studio’s “newest franchise” — which takes flight just as the “Shrek” series winds down after its fourth installment — DWA production co-prexy Bill Damaschke confirmed that all the key voices will be returning for the 2013 sequel.
“Dragon” has been a huge success for the studio, having brought in $489.6 million worldwide.
Jay Baruchel, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig will reprise their roles, with more work in store for Toothless and the original’s other non-speaking, fire-breathing favorites.
After sharing writing and directing duties with Chris Sanders
on the original, Dean DeBlois will take over both tasks on the sequel, with Sanders (who has his hands full co-helming DWA’s 2012 caveman comedy “The Croods”) remaining creatively involved in an executive producer capacity. DeBlois will also exec produce, while producer Bonnie Arnold returns to oversee the entire creative process.
The first movie was conceived as a prequel of sorts to Cressida Cowell’s book series, leaving plenty of material untapped for DeBlois as he plans to expand the world, which begins on the Island of Berk, and carry the story forward. “There are nine books, and I feel like there are all sorts of elements that we could pull from,” Arnold said.
The “Dragon” sequel is the first of two 3D films DWA plans to release in 2013, following a busy 2012, which includes “The Croods,” “Madagascar 3” and William Joyce adaptation “The Guardians.”