It’s been a running myth for over a decade that Paramount and Hasbro would eventually make a live action movie based on the comic book and toy line, The Micronauts. Image Comics, Devil’s Due and IDW have each tried to resurrect the characters over the past 15 years for a new comic series after a lengthy hiatus. No less than J.J. Abrams was producing (and possibly directing) a movie from a screenplay being developed by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

The last word that the movie might happen is a famous “writers’ room” centered around Hasbro’s properties that would join together to form a shared universe scenario which never quite materialized. That didn’t stop Paramount from holding a June 4, 2021 date for a Micronauts movie, despite there being no other new announcements that this movie was happening.

It now looks like that movie is one step closer to happening with How to Train Your Dragon mastermind Dean DeBlois on board to write and direct the live action movie, which probably means that anything devised by that writers’ room is long gone.

For those unfamiliar with the characters, who were most popular in the heyday of the toys in the early ’80s, the concept is that the Micronauts are a group of heroes from a place called the “Microverse” with names like Acroyear, Biotron, Andromeda and more, who were waging an age-old battle with the ruthless Baron Karza. Even those unaware of the history of the Hasbro toys and tie-in comics published by Marvel Comics can probably figure out that the Micronauts were a direct response to the popularity of a little movie called Star Wars and its resulting toy line in 1977, as the similarities between certain characters are unmistakeable. Even so, the comics, written by Bill Mantlo and often drawn by Mike Golden, had a fairly diehard fanbase, including yours truly. The Micronauts series regularly had crossovers with parts of the larger Marvel Universe, and there even was a crossover limited series with the equally popular X-Men.

The prior 2021 release date is mentioned in the original Deadline story, although DeBlois, who has received two Oscar nominations for his co-writing and co-directing work on two of the three “How to Train Your Dragon” movies produced by DreamWorks Animation, would have to already have some sort of working script in place if they’re going to hit that date. Knowing how much CG will be involved with a movie like this, even with DeBlois’ animation background, it seems likely that Paramount will have to push that date back again, either to the holidays of 2021 or the following summer.

DeBlois’ hire is the second former animation director brought over to Hasbro Films, following the hiring of LAIKA Studios President Travis Knight to direct last year’s Bumblebee prequel, which was received fairly well by critics and fans alike, but still grossed less than $500 million worldwide.