Saturday, 19 April 2014

Disney set to re-scale Pete's Dragon

Another classic from Walt Disney Pictures' back catalogue has been targeted for an update by the Mouse House. This time, it's Pete's Dragon (1977) in the crosshairs, with writer/director David Lowery hired to co-write and potentially direct a new take on the cuddly, musical blend of live action and animation.

The original Pete's Dragon starred Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters, Helen Reddy and Jim Dale, in the story of an orphaned boy (Sean Marshall) who arrives in a small town with his magic dragon, attempting to escape his abusive adoptive parents.

Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks are on board to write a new take on the story, with a modern frame and, according to Deadline at least, no music. It's a definite change of pace for the pair who have just scored a hit at Sundance will well-received indie drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013). That movie, which sees Casey Affleck as an outlaw in Texas who escapes from prison to reunite with his wife and the daughter he's never met, scored a cinematography award at the festival and saw Lowery anointed as a Director To Watch at the Palm Springs International fest.

For now though, Disney only has him on writing duties, but directors have made such leaps from indie fare to big studio stuff before – think The Escapist's (2008) Rupert Wyatt on Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) and Marc Webb swinging from (500) Days Of Summer (2009) to The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

As always, watch this space for more details.

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