New 'Treasure Island' Movie Coming From 'How To Train Your Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois

Universal has found the director to captain its Treasure Island adaptation. Dean DeBlois, who has helmed every film in DreamWorks' acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, has been tapped as the Treasure Island movie director in the first big-screen adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel since the '90s.

Dean DeBlois is the captain now of Treasure Island, according to The Wrap. Universal Pictures is developing an action-adventure adaptation of Robert Lousis Stevenson's classic novel Treasure Island with DeBlois directing and Evan Spiliotopoulos (Beauty and the Beast) set to write the script. Spiliotopoulos and DeBlois will collaborate on the story.

This is DeBlois' second live-action feature after he completed the beloved How to Train Your Dragon series, which set a new bar for DreamWorks animated movies. But it seems that DeBlois is charting out a shift to exclusively live-action features. He's signed on next to helm the Micronauts adaptation for Paramount, and now has boarded Universal's Treasure Island. The path for animated directors to the live-action scene is well-trod, with Brad Bird and Travis Knight bringing their animated expertise to inject a liveliness and kineticism to their live-action features. DeBlois has proven to have quite a cinematic eye in the How to Train Your Dragon series, whose soaring visuals were only bested by the endearing characters. Treasure Island is an enduring adventure story that is traditionally adapted for children, and DeBlois can definitely find plenty of common ground between his How to Train Your Dragon series, also adapted from children's adventure novels, and this upcoming feature.

Robert Louis Stevenson's 1881 novel is a classic that has been taught in millions of classrooms and has been adapted dozens of times. The most famous is perhaps the 1950 Disney film starring Robert Newton as Long John Silver, but a live-action Treasure Island feature film hasn't hit the big screen since the poorly received 1999 version starring Jack Palance.

Here is the synopsis for Treasure Island per Goodreads:

From the moment young Jim Hawkins first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle, the novel creates scenes and characters that have fired the imaginations of generations of readers. Written by a superb prose stylist, a master of both action and atmosphere, the story centers upon the conflict between good and evil – but in this case a particularly engaging form of evil. It is the villainy of that most ambiguous rogue Long John Silver that sets the tempo of this tale of treachery, greed, and daring.

The story has endured across different mediums — TV, animation, comics — and may be freshest in today's audiences minds as the inspiration for Disney's sorely underrated 2002 animated film Treasure Planet. But it's been a while since a successful live-action Treasure Island has been made, and a new generation could stand to be introduced to the story.