Principal Photography for the remake of Disneyâ€™s 1977 classic Peteâ€™s Dragon began today in New Zealand.
A combination of live action and computer-generated imagery will help explore the tale about the bond between a young orphan boy named Pete and his friend Elliot. Oh, and did we mention Elliot also happens to be a dragon?
The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) as Grace, a park ranger who discovers Elliot. A 10-year-old Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You) will play Pete and Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, All the Presidentâ€™s Men) will play Graceâ€™s father.
Other notable actors in the film include Wes Bentley (Hunger Games), New Zealander Karl Urban (Star Trek: Into Darkness) and Oona Lawrence.
Peteâ€™s Dragon is produced by Jim Whitaker, with Barrie Osborne as executive producer. Director David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks wrote the screenplay for the film. The New ZealandÂ based visual effects company WETA Digital, founded by filmmaker Peter Jackson, will also help bring Elliot the dragon to life.
â€œThis is a story about how magic can enter oneâ€™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,â€ Whitaker said in a press release.
Production begins in New Zealandâ€™s capital, Wellington, and will then move north to Rotorua. The production will be completed in the South Island communities of Tapanui and Invercargill.
â€œNew Zealand has long been a wonderful partner for film production. Wellingtonâ€™s state-of-the-art facilities and filmmaker-friendly community, in particular, make it an ideal location to shoot and be based out of,â€ Osborne said about the filmâ€™s location.
Peteâ€™s Dragon is scheduled for release in U.S. theaters in August 2016.