/Filmcast Ep. 379 – Pete’s Dragon

Pete's Dragon Trailer

DavidDevindra, and Jeff discuss the controversy around Wonder Woman, the brilliance of this summer’s indie films, and David recaps this weekend’s major releases.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Director David Lowery‘s reimagining of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is a very, very loose remake. It’s more detached from the original film than any of the other live-action Disney remakes. For Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks, a boy, Pete (Oakes Fegley), and a dragon, Elliot, were all they needed to take from the 1977 musical.

Halbrooks and Lowery’s tale of friendship is character-driven and sparse. Unlike most films we’ve seen this summer, it’s not driven by set pieces or conventional spectacle. Pete’s Dragon is basically a big budget drama. At the film’s press day, Lowery was kind enough to discuss crafting his latest picture with us, how the story evolved, working with Robert Redford, and how a bank commercial inspired him.

Below, read our David Lowery interview.

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Pete's Dragon Wes Bentley Interview

Wes Bentley‘s first big breakout role was in the 1999 Best Picture Winner, American Beauty. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Bentley in all sorts of films, including InterstellarThe Hunger GamesKnight of Cups, and two comedies more people should’ve seen, Welcome to Me and Weirdsville. The actor’s latest role is in director David Lowery‘s Pete’s Dragon, a remake of Disney’s 1977 musical.

In this adventurous, sparse and often somber reimagining, Bentley plays Jack. His brother, Gavin (Karl Urban), is the antagonist, while his girlfriend, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), is one of the film’s heroes. Similarly to Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, backstory and past conflicts are often left unspoken and suggested. At a recent press day, we discussed the often complicated relationships within Pete’s Dragon with Wes Bentley, who also told us about working with young actors, his time at Julliard, and his experience on Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups.

Below, read our Wes Bentley interview.

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Pete's Dragon Trailer

It’s been a great year for Walt Disney Pictures with success in both live-action and animation. Zootopia is one of the most successful movies of the year, Finding Dory was a huge box office hit, and the live-action remake of The Jungle Book may be the best revision of their classic animated movies yet. But the studio isn’t done bringing magic to movie theaters just yet.

Pete’s Dragon is yet another remake of a classic Disney movie. However, as we’ve seen in the trailers so far, this new take on the 1977 live-action and animated hybrid could not be more different from the original. Basically, the only thing they share is a camaraderie between a young boy and a dragon in the woods. And the more we see from Pete’s Dragon, the more excited I am to see it, and you just might feel the same way after watching a new trailer from across the pond.

Watch the Pete’s Dragon trailer from the United Kingdom after the jump. Read More »

pete's dragon clips

In some ways, Pete’s Dragon seemed like an unlikely candidate for a remake. The original was seen by plenty of people, but wasn’t exactly an acclaimed classic on par with Cinderella or The Jungle Book (both of which have also recently gotten remakes from Disney). And even once we knew a Pete’s Dragon remake was coming, David Lowery seemed like an unexpected choice. As a director, he was best known for the gritty crime drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints; his resume also includes lots of editing work on offbeat indies like Upstream Color.

So would this turn out to be an inspired marriage of material and talent, or an obvious mismatch? Well, the first Pete’s Dragon reviews are in, so you can find out for yourself after the jump.  Read More »

pete's dragon clips

Director David Lowery is probably doing something right with his upcoming remake of Pete’s Dragon because I’m not a fan of the 1977 original in the slightest but I fully intend to see the new version in its opening weekend. Maybe my soft spot for tales of isolated youngsters finding families is showing, or maybe I’m just a sucker for dragons, but everything we’ve seen from this movie looks charming and sweet and the right shade of adventurous.

Two new clips from the film have arrived online and they haven’t changed my mind. This looks like it could be one of 2016’s better family movies.

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Pete's Dragon image

Disney’s last remake, The Jungle Book, made close to a billion dollars. Audiences keep turning out to see their live-action reimaginings, and maybe partly because they’re improving in quality. Following up some of the studio’s previous efforts, like Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent, both Cinderella and The Jungle Book surpassed some’s expectations. Not everybody pegged them to be, creatively and financially, as successful as they are. Going into David Lowery‘s (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) loose remake of Pete’s Dragon, perhaps some of those skeptics will have higher expectations for this tale of friendship.

Below, watch the first Pete’s Dragon clip.

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Pete's Dragon TV Spot

Adding to the barrage of Disney’s remakes, late this summer comes a contemporary take on Pete’s Dragon, the film that blended animation with live-action all the way back in 1977. This looks like a magical update of the old movie from Ain’t Them Bodies Saints director with a performance from young star Oakes Fegley that feels like the kind of child actor that Steven Spielberg would have discovered. But will this movie have the same kind of heart and spirit of adventure of the director’s films? A new Pete’s Dragon TV spot is certainly reassuring, complete with a nice little song to guide us. Watch it below. Read More »

Pete's Dragon

Pete’s Dragon is very, very loosely based on the 1977 Disney film of the same name, a movie that, as charming as it often is, isn’t exactly sacrilegious to remake. Handling the newest Disney modernization is director David Lowery, whose last feature film was Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Going from a sparse, tone poem to a big Disney remake is quite a jump for a filmmaker to make, but the trailer for Pete‘s Dragon suggests it’s a transition Lowery had little trouble making.

Below, watch the latest Pete’s Dragon trailer.

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