Disney may be the studio behind Pixar, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the upcoming rebirth of the Star Wars saga. However, the studio also continues to deliver the same kind of entertainment as they did in the 1960s and 1970s, namely live-action comedies and light-hearted adventures for the whole family.
Films like The Apple Dumpling Gang and That Darn Cat brought audiences in for laughs, while Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks wowed them with the combination of animation and live-action. Now it seems that one film from that period of Disney magic is about to be revisited for the modern era.
According to Deadline, Disney is developing a remake/reboot of the 1977 film Pete’s Dragon with David Lowery and writing partner Toby Halbrooks attached to script the film. The original film was a musical about a young boy – with a magical animated dragon – who is on the run from his adoptive parents.
Lowery is best known as the writer/director of the Sundance release Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, due for release in August. The film – which stars Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Rami Malek – centers on an escaped outlaw who treks across Texas to reunite with his family.
Lowery’s involvement may initially seem at odds with Disney’s style of storytelling, but the filmmaker previously created the 2009 film St. Nick, which also employs a sense of magical realism to tell its tale. Presumably, Pete’s Dragon could be adapted into a story about growing up wherein the protagonist uses the dragon as a method of coping with the dark world around him. Think something tonally along the lines of the big screen version of Where the Wild Things Are and you’ll have an idea of how a darker (but still family-friendly) Pete’s Dragon could work. Of course, this is purely speculation, as nothing official about the film has been released just yet.
A Disney remake of a Disney classic is nothing new. In recent years, the Mouse House has released modern-day remakes of Freaky Friday, The Parent Trap (both starring Lindsay Lohan) and The Shaggy Dog as well as updates of the Herbie and Witch Mountain franchises. Remakes of The Rocketeer, Flight of the Navigator and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remain in the works.
Do you think Pete’s Dragon is due for a remake, or should Disney leave this one firmly tucked away? Sound off in the comments below.
We’ll keep you updated on the Pete’s Dragon remake as more news becomes available.