‘How To Train Your Dragon 3’ Gets Earlier Release Date After ‘LEGO Movie 2’ Delay

DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon 3" gets an earlier release date after "LEGO Movie 2" was pushed back by Warner Bros Animation for a year. The third "Dragon" installment will now bow in theaters on May 18, 2018, a theatrical release previously occupied by "LEGO Movie 2."

Delays And Push-Backs

"How to Train Your Dragon 3" has met plenty of delays and push-backs. Developed by "Lilo & Stitch" writers/directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the third -- and final -- installment was previously slated to go against Disney/Pixar's "Finding Dory," which is now playing in theaters. That theatrical release plan, however, was abandoned and moved to 2017 because Sanders is busy working on the studio's "The Croods" franchise, which leaves DeBlois as the sole writer and director for "How to Train Your Dragon 3," Screen Rant wrote.

Due to some changes in its business strategy, DreamWorks Animation had to push back "How to Train Your Dragon 3" again to 2018 after the studio decided to trim its usual three movies released annually to two. DreamWorks announced last year that it laid off 500 employees, or 18 percent of its whole staff, The Hollywood Reporter noted.

After vacating its 2018 release date, "LEGO Movie 2" will now come out on February 8, 2019, according to Deadline. No reason was provided regarding the delay, but that release date puts it two years after "The LEGO Batman Movie," to be released on February 10, 2017.

The Franchise's Swan Song

The critically-acclaimed "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise is based on Cressida Cowell's children's fantasy book series of the same name. Aside from the two installments released in 2010 and 2014, the novels were also adapted in a TV series ("DreamWorks Dragons") and a video game.

"How to Train Your Dragon 3" will wrap up the story of the young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his loyal dragon Toothless. The two's bond has led to plenty of adventures, Hiccup reuniting with his long-lost mom and the friendship between Vikings and dragons after decades of war.

In an interview with Collider in February 2015, DeBlois said that "How to Train Your Dragon 3" is "the culmination of Hiccup's coming of age." As chiefs of their respective tribes, Hiccup and Toothless will try to do what's right for their kind.

"How to Train Your Dragon 3" will also go to the point where the books begin, when Hiccup is an adult looking back on a time when dragons exist. This suggests that at some point in Hiccup's life the dragons went away, but whether they would come back and how they would return remains to be seen in the third film.

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