‘Treasure Island’ Movie Nabs ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Director Dean DeBlois

“How to Train Your Dragon” director Dean DeBlois has come on board to direct and produce “Treasure Island” for Universal Pictures and Mandeville.

The project is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel about a British boy named Jim Hawkins, who discovers a treasure map with the location of pirate treasure and joins a sailing expedition as the cabin boy to find the treasure chest. Most of the crew of the ship turn out to be pirates who stage a mutiny when the ship arrives at Treasure Island. The novel has been adapted into movies many times, starting with the 1934 version starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper.

It’s the second gig in two weeks that DeBlois has signed up for following the Sept. 23 announcement that he would direct “Micronauts” for Paramount and Hasbro. DeBlois previously directed all three “How to Train Your Dragon” films, which brought in a combined $1.64 billion in worldwide box office. He also directed Disney’s animated comedy “Lilo & Stitch.”

“Beauty and the Beast” scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos will write the “Treasure Island” script, collaborating with DeBlois on the story. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films will produce alongside DeBlois.

Popular on Variety

Senior vice president Alex Young will oversee the project on behalf of Mandeville Films. Universal’s director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

DeBlois is represented by WME and Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler Feldman & Clark. Spiliotopoulos is represented by Cover 1 Entertainment, Inc, Fourth Wall Management and Marks Law Group. The news was first reported by Deadline.

More Film

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Sundance Crowd Goes Wild as Taylor Swift Becomes Powerful Voice of Trump Resistance

    At the outset of the first screening of the documentary “Miss Americana” Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it was clear at the outset that it was not necessarily Taylor Swift’s core audience filling the Eccles Theater for the premiere. The opening scene has Swift trying to write a song at the piano while [...]

  • wanda Imax China

    China Closes Thousands of Theaters in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

    China closed swathes of cinemas on Friday in response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which started in the city of Wuhan and has now killed 26 people. The closures come a day after the distributors and producers of the seven major blockbusters that had expected to launch from Jan. 25 cancelled their films’ releases. [...]

  • Taylor Swift Variety Facetime

    Taylor Swift Opens Up About Overcoming Struggle With Eating Disorder (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the new Taylor Swift documentary, “Miss Americana,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night, there’s a montage of derogatory commentary about the singer that has appeared on cable shows over the years. One of the less nasty remarks: “She’s too skinny. It bothers me.” As it turns out, it eventually bothered Swift, [...]

  • The Painter and the Thief

    'The Painter and the Thief': Film Review

    Incredible. That’s the word that comes to mind with Benjamin Ree’s “The Painter and the Thief,” a stranger-than-fiction friendship story in which vérité techniques produce unbelievable results. I don’t mean to imply that this astonishing documentary isn’t truthful. Rather, I’m in awe of how things played out, and fully aware that there was a certain [...]

  • 'The Cost of Silence': Exclusive First

    'The Cost of Silence': Exclusive First Look at Sundance Doc on Deepwater Horizon Spill

    “The Cost of Silence,” a new documentary about the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, doesn’t just chronicle the worst oil drilling disaster in history. It looks at the devastating impact that the use of chemicals called “dispersants” had on Gulf Coast families. It turns out the so-called cleanup was not the success story [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content