Paramount's Micronauts picks up Dean DeBlois, of How To Train Your Dragon fame, as writer and director. The live-action Micronauts film has been in the works for years, and at one point they were intended to become part of a Hasbro live-action universe, alongside Transformers and GI Joe.
Like most Hasbro properties, the Micronauts started out as a toy line. In this case, they were 3.75-inch tall action figures that were known for an unusually high number of points of articulation. Marvel Comics purchased the rights to make Micronauts comics back in 1979, and they were integrated into the Marvel universe until the publisher lost the rights in 1986. The Quantum Realm, which played a prominent part in Ant-Man & the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame, is loosely based on the Microverse - the subatomic plane of reality that the Micronauts come from - albeit switched up to avoid trademark issues.
According to THR, Paramount has picked up a new writer and director for the Micronauts movie: Dean DeBlois, the filmmaker who wrapped up his popular How To Train Your Dragon trilogy earlier this year. DeBlois is an experienced writer and director - he was story head for Mulan, and is also well-known for Lilo & Stitch. This is, however, DeBlois' first foray into a potential live-action blockbuster.
At the same time, though, it's not difficult to see why Paramount felt DeBlois would be a good bet. DeBlois is particularly well known for the quality of his world-building, and the Microverse offers him a unique opportunity to fashion an entire plane of reality. The heroes are essentially a group of freedom fighters who are striving to free the Microverse from the ruthless Baron Karza, an academic who has become a black-armored dictator. The traditional Micronauts heroes include Commander Arcturus Rann, a legendary hero who has awoken from suspended animation; Princess Mari, one of the few survivors of the royal family of Homeworld; and the alien gladiators Acroyear and Bug. There could be some complications around Bug's film rights, given Marvel Comics have retained access to his rights, and he's played a major role in several cosmic events, even serving as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
It remains to be seen what approach DeBlois will take with Micronauts. He could conceivably develop the idea from the comics, where the Micronauts break through the "Spacewall" and emerge on Earth, albeit at action-figure size. Alternatively, he could choose to position Micronauts as a Star Wars-esque story of freedom fighters battling against a cosmic empire. Hopefully it won't be long before DeBlois drops some hints about his Micronauts movie.