Petes Dragon casting

David Lowery‘s Pete’s Dragon reboot is expected to depart from the original in some significant ways, but at the end of the day it’s still Pete’s Dragon. It needs a Pete and a dragon, and now it’s found the first of those.

Oakes Fegley is set to play the little boy who befriends the dragon Elliot. In addition, Oona Laurence has been set to play his other (human) friend Natalie. Hit the jump for the latest on the Petes Dragon casting.

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Benedict Cumberbatch in The Yellow Birds

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery is on a huge roll, with directorial attachments and screenwriting gigs coming out of the woodwork since the Sundance 2013. He’s writing and likely directing Pete’s Dragon, has a possible reunion with Casey Affleck in the project Two, and seems to have plenty of other projects brewing, such as The Old Man and the Gun with Robert Redford, and an adaptation of the graphic novel Torso. Now Lowery has been set to direct Benedict Cumberbatch in The Yellow Birds.

The film will be an adaptation of the novel by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers. The book follows two men who are sent to Iraq, and the bond between them as one, slightly older, tries to protect his younger comrade. Read More »

Pete's Dragon reboot

David Lowery was a surprising choice when Disney hired him to pen the Pete’s Dragon remake. His last film, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, was a gritty crime drama; Pete’s Dragon is… not that.

But now he’s getting even more involved in the family-friendly adventure. A new report indicates that Lowery has entered talks to direct Pete’s Dragon as well as write. Hit the jump for more details.

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lowery-affleck-saints

With every month that passes this year only seems to get better for David Lowery. The guy kicked off ’13 with three Sundance films in which he had a hand, the most notable being his turn writing and directing Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. (In theaters and on VOD now.) That led to deals to write and/or direct several other projects: a new version of Pete’s Dragon, the thriller Torso, and The Old Man and the Gun, with Robert Redford.

Now Lowery and his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints star Casey Affleck are set to team once more on an adaptation of the Paul Broks short story To Be Two or Not To Be. The film, simply called To Be Two, will be a sci-fi affair that is drawing tonal comparisons to Looper. There’s teleportation, inter-planetary travel, and a host of ethical and criminal issues that arise when those elements are linked. Read More »

Note: This review originally ran during the Sundance Film Festival in January. It is based on a cut of the film that is slightly different than what opened limited last weekend and expands this week. 

The best way to revitalize a well-worn story concept is often to approach it openly and honestly, but from an unusual angle. That’s what writer/director David Lowery does with the ages-old conflict between an outlaw, a lawman, and the woman between them, in the exceptional modern western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara are the people crossed at a crucial point in time. You’ve heard the story before, or at least seen the setup: one guy pulls a criminal job, and is caught in a fight with sheriff’s deputies as a result. His girlfriend is stalwart and sticks with him, even when the consequences of his criminal actions hit hard. But life is complicated, and plans go right to hell.

Deliberately paced and more interested in aftermath than big action scenes, a shorthand caption for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints could be “Cormac McCarthy by way of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” Each role is acted with calm precision, and directed with a measured hand. Lowery never falls to the temptation of overplaying a scene. It is one of the best films I’ve seen at Sundance 2013, and a must for fans of the slow burn or directors Andrew Dominik and John Hillcoat. Read More »

aint-them-bodies-saints-trailer-1

David Lowery‘s film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was among the best debuts at Sundance this past January, and it quickly found a release deal with IFC. (My glowing review is here.) The first trailer is here, opening with a slow, hazy expression of love which is soon overshadowed by the dark current that runs through the film. Casey Affleck shines as an outlaw who can’t quite face the idea that his family may be lost, while Rooney Mara excels as the woman caught at the tipping point between a very different past and future.

A gently percussive score and rhythmic cutting push the trailer forward, and the shade of Cormac McCarthy that inhabits the story becomes a bit more apparent as this edit hits a minor crescendo. It’s a great trailer for an excellent film. Read More »

AintThemBodiesSaints

David Lowery‘s film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was one of the best films of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. IFC will bring it to theaters in August, and the film is screening in Cannes this weekend. Along with that screening we’ve got a new teaser poster for the film, painted by the director’s brother.

The poster, by Benjamin Lowery, shows the film’s central couple, Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara). They live together as outlaws, but Bob takes the blame for one of Ruth’s actions during a shootout with cops and goes to prison. Four years later, Bob escapes and makes his way back to Ruth and their daughter.

Ben Foster and Keith Carradine also star, but for right now we’ll keep the focus on Bob and Ruth, with Ruth rightly taking prominence on the poster. See the image after the break. Read More »

david-lowery-torso

The graphic novel Torso, which follows Elliot Ness after the capture of Capone as he moves on to a serial killer investigation in Cleveland, has been the object of multiple adaptation attempts by various producers. We haven’t talked much about the Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko graphic novel since David Fincher walked away from a possible adaptation in ’09. Rights to the story lapsed at that point, blocking Fincher’s potential version.

Now Torso is coming back to life, and with one of the more exciting talents to make headlines in 2013. David Lowery, the Ain’t Them Bodies Saints writer/director and Upstream Color editor who recently made deals to write Pete’s Dragon and to write and direct The Old Man and the Gun, will adapt and direct. Read More »

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