Gerard Butler is set to reprise the iconic character of Stoick in the live-action adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon. The beloved classic animated film takes audiences on an exhilarating adventure set in the Viking world of Berk. The film follows the journey of a young Viking named Hiccup, who defies tradition by befriending a wounded dragon known as Toothless instead of slaying it. Together, Hiccup and Toothless must confront their shared enemies and aim to bridge the longstanding divide between dragons and humans.
Released in 2010, this remarkable film captured the hearts of millions around the world, becoming a tremendous success. Its stunning animation, heartfelt storytelling, and unforgettable characters resonated deeply with audiences of all ages. Such triumph resulted in two Academy Award nominations: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score. This immense popularity and critical acclaim led to the creation of two equally exceptional sequels in 2014 and 2019, solidifying its status as a legendary animated film franchise. Butler reprising his role from the animated film series is certain to excite fans of the franchise. Here’s everything you need to know.
Who Did Gerard Butler Play in the Original Animation?
Gerard Butler‘s portrayal of Stoick in the How to Train Your Dragon animated franchise is truly iconic. As the devoted chieftain of the Viking village of Berk, Stoick is a complex and multifaceted character. Butler brings a perfect blend of authority, warmth, and vulnerability to the role, making Stoick a beloved and relatable leader. Stoick’s journey is defined by his unconditional love for his son, Hiccup, and his unwavering dedication to protecting his people. Through Butler’s incredible voice acting, Stoick’s gruff exterior is softened, revealing a compassionate and fiercely loyal character. Butler’s unique ability to bring depth and nuance to Stoick’s emotions, whether it be his proud moments as a leader or his heart-wrenching losses, makes him a standout character in the franchise.
What Does Gerard Butler’s Return Mean to the Live Action Adaptation?
How to Train Your Dragon boasted one of the impressive lineups of voice actors in the history of animated movies. Alongside Butler, actors like Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, and David Tennant lent their distinctive voices to the movie. With the announcement of Butler’s return for the live action adaptation, it’s currently unknown if more members of the original cast will join. However, one of the original writers and directors, Dean DeBlois, will be helming the project. So, it is possible that he will convince more of the original actors to return.
Who Else Stars in the Live Action Movie?
Nico Parker as Astrid
In the original animated movie, Astrid was voiced by the enigmatic America Ferrera. However, for the upcoming live action movie, Astrid will be portrayed by rising star Nico Parker, known for her roles in Dumbo and The Last of Us. In the animated film, Astrid is a key character who is a determined and passionate young Viking warrior. She possesses a strong and independent personality, known for her exceptional skills in combat and her unwavering loyalty to her tribe. Initially, Astrid has a competitive nature, striving to be the best dragon slayer among her peers. However, as the story progresses, she undergoes a significant transformation. Through her encounters with the young Viking hero, Hiccup, Astrid begins to question the long-held beliefs of her people regarding dragons.
Mason Thames as Hiccup
Mason Thames is another rapidly rising talent in Hollywood who made a name for himself in the acclaimed horror movie, The Black Phone. In How to Train Your Dragon, he will take on the role of Hiccup, the lead character originally voiced by Jay Baruchel. Of course, due to the character’s age, it would make little sense for Baruchel to reprise his role as the character. So, this sets the ground for Thames to further boost his profile after the success of The Black Phone.
In the original animated classic, despite being born into a Viking society where strength and bravery are highly valued, Hiccup stands out due to his small stature, unconventional ideas, and a profound affinity for dragons. He possesses a kind heart and a sharp wit, which often sets him apart from his peers. Such a character arc seems like the right challenge for the young, up-and-coming actor to embark upon.
Everything We Know So Far About the Upcoming ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Live Action Movie
How to Train Your Dragon is currently in pre-production and is slated for a June 13, 2025 release. In terms of plot, much like the original animate franchise, the upcoming live-action version will be partly based on the 2003 book by Cressida Cowell. The original story will be retold for a new audience and all of the main characters are set to return. However, more actors will keep being added to the roster before filming commences. On January 11, 2024, it was officially announced that Nick Frost will be joining cast as Gobber, the fiery blacksmith of Berk, originally voiced by Craig Ferguson.
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