The last time we reported on the upcoming remake of the 1977 live-action/2D-animated musical film Pete’s Dragon, they had cast the role of Pete (Oakes Fegley), added in the female role of Natalie (Oona Lawrence), and revealed that the titular dragon Elliot will be CG-animated. Now we have more news about the possible addition of another cast member as well as story details.
Collider has reported that Robert Redford is currently in talks to star in a “pivotal” role in the film as a town local who “tells tall-tales involving dragons that no one believes.” Should these talks come through, he would be the first major actor cast in the film.
On the subject of story details, expect the film to differ wildly from the 1977 musical. Whereas the original film took place in the early 1900’s, the remake will take place against the backdrop of loggers cutting down a forest. Furthermore, where in the original Elliot was a dragon that Pete comes across while running from his abusive family, the remake now reimagines Pete as a boy who has been raised by Elliot in the forest following his parents’ death in a car accident.
Other major characters in the film include a forest ranger who stumbles upon Pete and the greedy brother of a mill owner. Also, Natalie happens to be the mill owners daughter (similar to how Nora was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper in the original, but still very different).
If these new details tell us anything, the remake appears to be taking a much different trajectory than the original film. Not only does it appear that the remake is set in the present day, bit it also seems to be putting a much darker spin on the story. It would appear, however, that the gist of Elliot that only makes itself visible to children in need (or really whenever he wants to) has been kept, among other things.
The remake will begin production in New Zealand sometime this fall.
What are your thoughts on this new development? How do you feel about the new direction the film is taking?