Production on Disney’s Live-Action Rendition of “Pete’s Dragon” Begins Today

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Principal photography on Petes Dragon commenced today in New Zealand. A reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic, Petes Dragon will blend live action and CGI to tell the story of the special bond between an orphaned boy, Pete, and his best friend, Elliott, who just happens to be a dragon.

The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) as Grace, a park ranger who discovers the existence of Elliott; 10-year-old Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You) as Pete; Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) as Jack, a local mill owner; New Zealand native Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Jacks brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Oscar winner Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, All the Presidents Men) as Graces father.

Petes Dragon is directed by David Lowery (Aint Them Bodies Saints) and produced by Jim Whitaker, with Barrie Osborne serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Lowery and Toby Halbrooks. WETA Digital, thevisual effects company founded byfilmmakerPeter Jackson based in New Zealand, willutilize the latest in digital effects to bring the dragon, Elliott, to life. The film is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters in August, 2016.

This is a story about how magic can enter ones life and change the way they see the world. And I think David Lowery is the perfect director to bring this project to life, says Whitaker.

The production begins shooting in and around Wellington before moving north to the Rotorua area, and will complete principal photography in the South Island communities of Tapanui and Invercargill.

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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