by: S. Scott Stanikmas
Robert Redford is rumored to be in early talks for a role in the upcoming remake of Disney’s 1977 classic Pete’s Dragon. In a story from The Hollywood Reporter, if Redford does join the cast, he’ll take on the role of a local man who tells incredible tales about dragons that no one believes.
David Lowery, director of crime drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, is set to helm this version of the beloved kids movie. It’s an odd choice for a director, but I’ve said before that I’m all for filmmakers trying something different and shaking up preconceived notions about them. If Lowery can make it work, good for him.
And speaking of different, this version of Pete’s Dragon is almost an entirely different animal itself. Pete is still an orphan and Elliott is still his protective dragon. But instead of taking place in a turn-of-the-century fishing town it will take place in a forest threatened to be cut down by loggers. The forest is where Pete and Elliott live. And apparently this version will not be a musical, just a family film with a large dose of fantasy mixed in. As can be expected the titular dragon will be CGI instead of the 2D animation seen in the original.
Redford would be a real catch for this film. The only other official cast members at this time are child actors Oakes Fegley as Pete and Oona Laurence as the mill owner’s daughter.
I don’t know if the public was really asking for this remake. It’s hard enough to get kids to sit still and watch a movie. Disney at least peppers catchy songs throughout their films. Taking the music out of this and making it a straight up fantasy movie is a real risk. Will kids be able to sit through it? Will adults want to go see it based on the nostalgia factor of the original?