pete's dragon poster

Disney’s slowly been going through its back catalogue over the past few years, remaking its greatest hits in live-action with the help of 21st century technology. This spring brings The Jungle Book and Alice Through the Looking Glass (a sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland remake), and then later this summer comes Pete’s Dragon.

Directed by David LoweryPete’s Dragon brings the 1977 movie into the modern day. Oakes Fegley is the titular Pete, a little boy in the woods who claims to live with a giant green dragon. Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard also star. The first Pete’s Dragon teaser trailer has just hit, and you can check it out after the jump.
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pete's dragon poster

Disney has found tremendous success in these past few years by revisiting and “re-imagining” some their most beloved and iconic films as modern blockbusters, much to the chagrin of some purists. However, Pete’s Dragon is the exact kind of movie that should be remade – the original 1977 film, while it has a few charming moments here and there, is no classic. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with taking another stab at this story.

And there is certainly promise in the tale of a young boy who befriends an invisible (imaginary?) dragon. And there is certainly promise in handing this material to a director like David Lowery, who is a left field choice for a family movie. The first trailer for new Pete’s Dragon is a few days away, but the first poster has dropped, giving us our first tease of this new film.

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Pete's Dragon

One of the debuts at Disney’s live-action D23 panel today wasn’t a live-action character at all, but an animated dragon named Elliott. Disney offered a preview of their upcoming Pete’s Dragon reboot today, which is directed by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). Find out everything we learned from the Pete’s Dragon D23 presentation after the jump. Read More »

Robert Redford in Talks for ‘Pete’s Dragon’

Robert Redford Petes Dragon

The Pete’s Dragon in the works over at Disney has found a high-profile co-star to spin some tales about dragons. David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) is co-writing and directing the new take on the old story, and Robert Redford is now in talks to play one of the film’s important characters. Along with that news comes a few details on the new setting of the story. Read More »


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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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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 »

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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 »