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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PRODUCTION ON REMAKE OF "PETE'S DRAGON" BEGINS IN NEW ZEALAND


PRODUCTION ON “PETE’S DRAGON” BEGINS IN NEW ZEALAND, STARRING
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD, OAKES FEGLEY AS PETE AND ROBERT REDFORD


BURBANK, Calif. (February 10, 2015) – Principal photography on “Pete’s Dragon” commenced today in New Zealand. A reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic, “Pete’s 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 Jack’s brother, Gavin; Oona Laurence as Natalie, the young girl who befriends Pete; and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “All the President’s Men”) as Grace’s father.

“Pete’s Dragon” is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t 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, the visual effects company founded by filmmaker Peter Jackson based in New Zealand, will utilize 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 one’s 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. 


Film New Zealand, the country’s national film office and sister agency Film Wellington assisted the Walt Disney Studios in assessing and confirming New Zealand for the production.

“New Zealand has long been a wonderful partner for film production. Wellington’s state-of-the-art facilities and filmmaker-friendly community, in particular, make it an ideal location to shoot and be based out of,” says Osborne.

About Walt Disney Studios:
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.

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