Lavish live-action remakes and modern re-imaginings are currently high on the pecking order over at the House of Mouse, and one need only look at Disney’s marketing campaigns for Alice Through the Looking Glass (drawing to a close ahead of release later this week) and Bill Condon’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast (which only just kicked off following the reveal of today’s inaugural teaser) for evidence of this renewed drive.
Sandwiched in between those two relative heavyweights is Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery’s (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) rendition of a cult ’70s classic. It brings together Oakes Fegley’s pint-sized protagonist with a towering, feathery reptile, sparking an usual friendship deep within the woods.
And so, with a release pegged for mid-August in the States – Pete’s Dragon lands in the UK on May 26 – Empire Magazine has premiered a new image spotlighting the titular beast, all the while revealing the genesis behind Lowery’s furry creation, who took strides to ensure that Pete’s amicable dragon stood apart from those fire-breathing beasts spotted in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter et. al.
“When I went to pitch the movie to Disney, I said ‘I want him to be a furry dragon’. Pete is supposed to be cuddling up with the dragon, so let’s make him furry. I wanted him to feel not like a Game Of Thrones or Harry Potter dragon”, Lowery explains, hoping his “75% realistic” dragon will be one audiences want to take home. A lot of [Elliott] is a dog, because people relate to dogs, but I’m a big cat person. There’s a seagull in there, and a tiger. Ultimately, it comes down to trying to make a 20 foot tall pet.”
Pete’s Dragon will swoop into theaters on August 12 in the States. Wes Bentley, Karl Urban and Oona Laurence are among the cast.