Last year, we received news of Walt Disney Pictures developing a remake of the 1977 live-action/2D-animated musical film Pete’s Dragon. For those wondering about its current status, we now have an update about who will be playing the main lead(s), as well as how the titular dragon will be brought to life.
Variety recently reported that Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You, Boardwalk Empire) has been cast in the lead role of Pete, while Broadway actor and Tony Award winner Oona Laurence will play the lead female role of Natalie, Pete’s friend and a character created specifically for the remake.
David Lowery, best known for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, will direct the film, with writing duties shared by him and Tony Halbrooks. Unlike the original, the remake will be played straight, thus no musical sequences.
Another deviation from the original is that CGI will be used to bring Elliot the dragon to life. Not a completely unexpected change, but considering that CG depictions of dragons have improved in recent time (see: Smaug from The Hobbit), it will be interesting to see if Elliot’s look will adhere to the original cartoon design, take a more realistic approach, or find a middle-ground between the two.
The remake will begin shooting on January of next year in New Zealand.