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SYFY WIRE How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon Taps The Black Phone, The Last of Us Stars to Lead Live Action Remake

If you’ve tuned in lately to movies and TV, you’ve already seen these young actors’ good sides.

By Benjamin Bullard
A photo of Mason Thames above Nico Parker next to their characters Hiccup and Astrid from How To Train Your Dragon

Who’s ready for more dragon training — only this time in live action? As the embers burn toward How to Train Your Dragon’s first-ever foray outside animated territory, DreamWorks’ magically adventuresome fantasy franchise is recruiting Vikings for its upcoming live-action adventure, tapping a pair of young screen talents with faces that are likely familiar to anyone who’s been tuned in lately to critically-acclaimed TV and movies.

Via Deadline, Universal Pictures has tapped actors Mason Thames and Nico Parker to play the two leading roles in DreamWorks’ live-action remake of the original 2010 animated feature that first breathed fiery life into the How to Train Your Dragon film franchise. Thames has been cast as series hero Hiccup (or Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III if we’re being precise), while Parker will play fellow student-in-training Astrid Hofferson. As in the animated original, both roles are adapted from the eponymous 2003 young adult book from author Cressida Cowell that inspired the How to Train Your Dragon films.

RELATED: How to Train Your Dragon Moments We Can't Wait to See in Live Action

Recent résumés: The Black Phone & The Last of Us

Thames gained major recent notoriety as the triumphant teenage foil of The Grabber in The Black Phone, Universal’s 2021 horror hit where he starred opposite Ethan Hawke (who played the movie’s fiendish masked killer). He’s reportedly set next to appear opposite Mel Gibson in the upcoming fantasy adventure film Boys of Summer.

Parker made her big-screen debut as the plucky kid Milly in Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation of Dumbo (2019), and recently starred in HBO’s series adaptation of PlayStation gaming sensation The Last of Us. Though her character didn’t survive beyond the tragic first episode, Parker dazzled as the dynamic and promising young Sarah, the fallen daughter of series hero Joel (Pedro Pascal). The daughter of actor Thandiwe Newton, Parker also has starred in HBO’s The Third Day, and is slated to appear alongside Woody Harrelson and Laura Linney in the upcoming drama feature Suncoast.

Unfolding in and around the fantasy Viking hamlet of Berk, How to Train Your Dragon follows the upward climb toward heroism of young protagonist Hiccup and his closest student confidante, the equally courageous and inquisitive Astrid. Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera have given voice to the animated duo through DreamWorks’ three feature films, including How to Train Your Dragon (2010), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019). All three movies were helmed by director Dean DeBlois, who is returning to direct the live-action adaptation — currently slated for a March 14, 2025 release.

Want a head start on the fire-breathing spectacle? How to Train Your Dragon 2 is streaming now at Peacock.