Update: The Wrap reports that Lowery is now in talks to direct. Clearly Disney's executives liked what they read...
Another of Disney’s back-catalogue has now been targeted for an update by the Mouse House. This time, it’s Pete’s Dragon in the crosshairs, with writer/director David Lowery hired to co-write a new take on the cuddly, musical blend of live-action and animation.
The original Pete’s Dragon hit cinemas in 1977, and starred Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters, Helen Reddy and Jim Dale, in the story of an orphaned lad (Sean Marshall) who arrives in a small town with his magic dragon, attempting to escape his abusive adoptive parents.
Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks are on board to write a new take on the story, with a modern frame and, according to Deadline at least, no music. It’s a definite change of pace for the pair who have just scored a hit at Sundance will well-received indie drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. That movie, which sees Casey Affleck as an outlaw in Texas who escapes from prison to reunite with his wife and the daughter he’s never met, scored a cinematography award at the festival and saw Lowery anointed as a Director To Watch at the Palm Springs International fest.
For now, Disney only has him writing, but directors have made such leaps from indie fare to big studio stuff before: think The Escapist's Rupert Wyatt on Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Marc Webb swinging from (500) Days Of Summer to The Amazing Spider-Man.