It’s been two years since Disney first announced a remake of its 1977 musical feature Pete’s Dragon was in the works. In that time, the studio has released and moved forward on a number of other remakes/re-inventions of classic Mouse House properties. Some of these films have stuck close to the original stories - as looks to be the case with this year's Cinderella and The Jungle Book live-action movies - while others have put a new twist on a well-known tale (see: Maleficent).
However, one aspect all these films have in common is that respected and beloved actors and actresses are tied to each feature. The Pete’s Dragon remake - as written/directed by David Lowry (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) - is no different.
Variety is reporting that Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Wes Bentley (American Horror Story: Freak Show) are the most recent cast additions for the Pete’s Dragon remake. The actors join Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), stage actress Oona Laurence, and Oakes Fegley (Boardwalk Empire) in retelling the story of a young boy who is raised by a dragon named Elliott.
The specifics of Hall, Bentley, and Howard’s roles have been kept under wraps, but details about the characters that will be played by Redford and Laurence indicate audiences may not see rehashed versions of those from the original film. Laurence will play a miller’s daughter who befriends titular character Pete (Fegley), while Redford will portray a local who tells stories of dragons that no one believes.
According to story details from /Film, a forest ranger as well as the greedy brother of the mill owner will be incorporated in Pete’s Dragon. How Hall and Bentley will fit into the story - whether playing these characters or others that are unknown - is not yet clear.
As far as how Pete’s Dragon is similar to other Disney remakes, it seems to largely fall into the re-envisioned camp with Maleficent by offering a new take on the basic premise of the original. Lowry’s Pete’s Dragon, which he co-wrote with his writing partner Toby Halbrooks, won’t be a musical, but will be more modernized (for example, it deals with environmental issues).
However, though it may seem Lowry’s take on the beloved Mouse House feature will be different enough to warrant the remake, the details on Pete’s Dragon are still relatively sparse. It’s difficult to get a true reading on how the remake will turn out before more is known about the feature. Production on Pete’s Dragon is slated to begin in New Zealand this month, so hopefully we’ll know more soon.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Pete’s Dragon as they become available.