Disney, while safely secure with a steady stream of hits from Marvel Studios and Star Wars, remains keen on mining its own library of films for “reimaginings” and “updates”, but thus far, things are off to a pretty terrific start with the lush and beautiful and sincere Cinderella, and the excellent-looking The Jungle Book on the horizon. The second 2016 live-action update for Disney is Pete’s Dragon, and the studio has unveiled a motion poster today to tout that the film’s very first trailer will be released this Sunday during ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 at 8pm ET.
What’s exciting about Pete’s Dragon is that the studio enlisted Ain’t Them Bodies Saints filmmaker David Lowery to co-write and direct. These live-action udpates aren’t simply cash-grabs—Disney is really making an effort to make them filmmaker-driven, from Kenneth Branagh’s theatrical touch on Cinderella to Jon Favreau’s cutting-edge effects on The Jungle Book. And with upcoming films like Bill Condon’s musical Beauty and the Beast and Tim Burton’s take on Dumbo, there’s plenty to look forward to.
As for Pete’s Dragon, the story tells of the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. Robert Redford plays an old wood carver whose tales of a fierce dragon that resides in the woods of the Pacific Northwest are shrugged off as nonsense, that is until his daughter (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), stumbles across Pete, who boasts of a friend that sounds a lot like the storied dragon. Howard’s character then sets out to determine where Pete came from and where he belongs.
Lowery shot the picture down in New Zealand, and I’m eager to see the visuals he captured when the first trailer drops. Luckily we don’t have much longer to wait, but for now check out the motion poster below. Also starring Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, and Oona Laurence, and opens in theaters on August 12th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Pete’s Dragon:
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.