Dallas Filmmakers David Lowery and Toby Halbrook's Next Project? A Pete's Dragon Remake.
Between dazzling Sundance audiences with their Ain't Them Bodies Saints feature back in January and fully conquering the Dallas music video industry over the course of the past few years, it sure seems like film director David Lowery and his long-time writing and producing partner Toby Halbrooks are everywhere these days.
But that's just because, well, they kind of are.
And they'll continue to be, too. Fresh on the heels of their Sundance acclaim, which netted their Mara Rooney- and Casey Affleck-starring film a distribution deal with IFC, Deadline now reports that the Dallas-based twosome has been hand-selected by Disney to pen the script for a re-imagination of 1977 Disney classic, Pete's Dragon. According to that report, Lowery and Halbrooks have been tasked with giving the combined live action and animated children's musical their own distinctively modern twist.
The original film, based on a 1950s short story of the same name, centered around a young orphaned boy on the run from his abusive foster parents with his magical — and, yes, animated — pet dragon. Deadline says Lowery and Halbrooks' take will likely hold the core values of the original adaptation, but that it will ditch the musical numbers that first version featured.
Surprised to see some darker filmmakers tasked with the remake of such a lighthearted romp? Don't be. This is fairly reflective of a recent trend from Disney, which has already given the greenlight to a number of more dramatic and dark re-interpretations of already popular classics, including a Maleficent remake featuring Angelina Jolie and a live action, Guillermo Del Torro-produced Beauty and the Beast concept.
As for Lowery and Halbrooks, they've been working towards this kind of industry attention for some time now. Just last month, Lowery recalled for us his first meeting with Halbrooks, which came nearly a decade ago. They met while editing a commercial together and, within a week, they were writing scripts and directing music videos together, all in the hopes that, eventually, something “would stick.”
Getting a gig with Disney seems to fit that bill, for sure.