Pete’s Dragon is an upcoming American-New Zealand fantasy adventure film directed by David Lowery from a screenplay written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Pete’s Dragon is a remake of the 1977 film of the same name. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, and Robert Redford. Filming began on January 26, 2015 in New Zealand. The film is scheduled to be released in the Disney Digital 3-D and RealD 3D formats on August 12, 2016.
In March 2013, Disney announced a reboot of the 1977 film to be written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks from the Sundance hit Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. It will reinvent the core story of a “venerable Disney family film” and will not be a musical. Principal photography commenced in January 2015 in New Zealand, with Lowery directing. On October 2, Barrie M. Osborne was set to produce the film. The film would be shot in live-action using Panavision Panaflex cameras. The animated dragon, Elliott, was entirely animated by Weta Digital in CGI instead of the usual hand-drawn animation.
Rehearsals began early January 2015 while some news reported on January 26, 2015 about the beginning of the shooting which would last through April. Live-action filming locations include Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Wellington and Canterbury, while CGI will be done at Stone Street Studios. Later on February 10, 2015, a press release confirmed that the filming had commenced on the film in New Zealand. Shooting was taking place in and around Wellington, which was intended to move later to Rotorua area, and then to Tapanui, where the old Blue Mountain Lumber mill was the mill in the film, and the main street became Millhaven for 2 weeks. Production concluded on April 30, 2015.