Of all the directors Disney could have chosen for their remake of 1977 musical Pete's Dragon, David Lowery is probably the most unexpected choice. While hardly a household name, Lowery earned strong reviews for his atmospheric Western drama, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, but it wasn't the kind of film that pegged him as the right guy for a movie that appeals to kids. However if there's something to be learned by the blockbuster success of indie directors Colin Trevorrrow (Jurassic World) and Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), it's to not judge too soon.
After a motion poster debuted a couple of days ago, the first official teaser trailer for Pete's Dragon has been released, along with an extended synopsis that suggests a more mature story than the original. That's also reflected in the footage, which starts off with a somber tone before kicking in to high adventure. This version ditches the musical aspect entirely,and makes some changes to the central story. Pete (Oakes Fegley) is still an orphan, but he's been living in the forests for years, protected by an invisible dragon. Here's the official synopsis:
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.
Pete's Dragon opens on August 12th.