So far, Lowery has landed Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You) as the titular Pete, an orphan who arrives in a small town with his magic dragon, attempting to escape his abusive adoptive parents. Oona Laurence, meanwhile, plays a newly created character, Natalie, who also befriends our hero. The film – which will shoot in New Zealand – is set against the backdrop of illegal logging. Elliott the dragon, who raises Pete after he's orphaned by a car crash, lives in a threatened forest.
Robert Redford (All Is Lost) is in talks to co-star and Howard may end up joining him. While the original was a musical, the new one will be a more straightforward film, with the dragon conjured via CGI alongside a live action cast. Pete's Dragon is the latest attempt by Disney to raid its back catalogue to fuel new movies.
Howard will next be on our screens in Jurassic World, which roars in on 12 June. She's also attached to write and direct a drama called The Originals about a group who reunite in New York when they learn the teacher who shaped their childhoods is in a mysterious coma.