David Lowery

Started by Robyn, January 26, 2013, 06:00:07 PM

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My house, my rules, my coffee




Speaking of wild child movies, let's touch upon another one Disney has in the works, a remake of a film that holds a very special place in my heart.

The original Pete's Dragon was the first film I saw in a theater and remains one of my favorite examples of that particular era of Disney movie magic.

So it might seem weird for me to say that I'm not dreading the remake. For one, I know that co-writer and director David Lowery is just as big of a fan of the original as I am and secondly, he's a real deal dramatic filmmaker. From what I've heard Lowery and Toby Halbrooks' approach is very different, but keeps the relationship between a boy and his dragon intact. In other words, it's doing what remakes should do: take the core of what works in the original and give us a different experience with it.

The location is now the Pacific Northwest and Pete's not a runaway from a hillbilly family trying to use him for slave labor. Pete's a feral child in the wilderness and one day a Forest Ranger, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, stumbles across him. Little does she know his imaginary friend, who happens to be a dragon, is maybe not so imaginary.

The thrust of the footage they showed was in building up the mystery of Elliot. First off, the cinematography was not your typical family film look. Think more Amblin and less Yogi Bear. Robert Redford also brought a lot of weight to the small amount of footage we saw.

Most of the Pete's Dragon presentation was a conversation between Bryce and Redford. She's telling him about this feral boy (we get glimpses of a dirty Oakes Fegley roaring at something), how she found him and how he's being integrated into this small logging town (some fish out of water looks from Fegley while in town)... and how he has an imaginary friend.

Redford isn't so sure the drawing Pete made of his dragon friend (not at all like the Elliot we know... on all fours, hair more a like patchy coat or mane instead of the purple tuft on the top of the head) is from the kid's imagination.

The last thing we see in the footage is Pete reaching out and running his fingers through the fur of his dragon friend. The fur changes colors in response and the title came up.

The tone of the whole thing was way serious. I can't wait to see what this thing ends up being.
My house, my rules, my coffee


QuotePETE'S DRAGON Teaser Poster Teases Pete's Dragon
Disney has been busy making live action versions of the beloved cartoons, but that doesn't mean they are done remaking and rebooting their old live action classics (despite Tron Legacy). The next live action remake is Pete's Dragon, and it's a really interesting film on paper. It's directed by David Lowery, a for real indie film guy who made the leap to the big leagues not with an action blockbuster or a superhero movie but rather with the tale of a kid and his maybe imaginary dragon bestie. Lowery, best known for Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Boycrazy Bikini Mishap, isn't the only indie world darling to leap to Disney - Alex Ross Perry is writing the new Winnie the Pooh!

Lowery's hiring makes Pete's Dragon stand out from the rest of Disney's recent live action output, but so does the decision to go with a CGI dragon. This is a major aesthetic choice, as the dragon in the original Pete's Dragon was a cartoon, and one who was drawn especially cartoonishly. There was nothing realistic about that dragon at all, and purposefully so. Lowery's film has chosen to go away from that, but Disney has so far hidden the dragon (even at D23 they kept the full dragon out of sight), so this teaser poster is our best look at the beast yet.

It seems like Lowery is splitting the difference here. While the CGI dragon will surely be lit and interact with the environment in a real way, the design doesn't look like a photoreal creature. There's a lumpy, fuzzy aspect to the creature that makes it look like a big giant puppet, at least in this image. If I'm right about this it's a great aesthetic choice - doing the CGI stuff that everybody expects while not chasing the realism that makes so many CGI creatures lame.

The next question: when do we actually see the dragon? They can't be holding it until release - the merch people would plotz.
Devin Feraci, BMD



That's a cool poster but that dragon definitely has to be part-Llama or something...maybe had an Alpaca for a grandfather...


It's a cat. It's a big green cat.
My house, my rules, my coffee

Jeremy Blackman

I really like the fuzziness. Maybe it resembles the titular wild things in Where the Wild Things Are. This looks so much better than a Shrek-like creature or a How to Train Your Dragon dragon.
Living life big time


I should note I wasn't being dismissive or disparaging with my comment. Just pointing out that dragon is very clearly a cat, which, given Ghostboy's admitted love of felines, makes perfect sense.
My house, my rules, my coffee


I like the look of it.
It looks mossy, like it belongs in that forest.


Quote from: Garam on February 19, 2016, 12:46:09 PM
That's a cool poster but that dragon definitely has to be part-Llama or something...maybe had an Alpaca for a grandfather...

Maybe they were going for this?

First thing I was reminded of.


you can hear it like this:

QuoteDisney has also confirmed (via its Twitter account) that the Pete's Dragon teaser trailer will debut this Sunday (February 21st), during the Disneyland 60 special (which commemorates the 60th anniversary of the original Disneyland theme park) that will air on ABC from 8-10 pm ET. The Pete's Dragon teaser may offer a better look at Elliott (among other things) – and Pete's disappearing/reappearing pal ought to be an impressive-looking CGI character, seeing as he's being created by the same WETA Digital that brought Smaug in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy to life.

The teaser trailer may also touch (however briefly) on the main conflict of the Pete's Dragon remake, which reportedly involves loggers threatening the forest where Elliott resides. Pete's Dragon (1977) did not include any such environmental themes, but the remake – which Lowery co-wrote with his frequent collaborator Toby Halbrooks – has, in fact, promised to "reinvent the core of the original family film," so this could be how it goes about doing just that.



Long Podcast: http://nerdist.com/love-alexi-9-david-lowery/

(I haven't heard it yet, so I don't know what is discussed on there. They might just talk about cats.)


I'm about 45 minutes in, and it's been very entertaining. More personal talk than film-specific so far, but the friendship between Ghostboy and Alexi gives them a rapport that's really fun to listen to. Very little cat talk so far, which I appreciate.
My house, my rules, my coffee


This was really entertaining and was great to know our guy a little bit more. Really enjoyed it.

Also, I had no idea Ghostboy was so close to the so called "mumblecore" crowd. The other day I was watching "Listen Up Philip" and that's when I started to realize he was really present in these guys work. That's cool, as a great generation of filmmakers really starts to establish themselves with great features.