The Wrap reports that Wes Bentley ("The Hunger Games," "Interstellar") has signed on to star in the remake of the Disney family classic Pete's Dragon. His role has not been revealed yet.
The new incarnation follows Pete (Oakes Fegley) whose parents died in car crash. He has been subsequently raised by the dragon named Elliot in a forest now threatened by loggers.
Howard will play a park ranger who finds Pete and is a bit skeptical when he tells her about his parental circumstances. Pete befriends a mill owner's young daughter (Oona Laurence).
Robert Redford will play a local who tells tall-tales involving dragons that no one believes.
The original 1977 film combined an animated dragon character with a live-action cast including Sean Marshall, Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons and Shelley Winters.
"Ain't Them Bodies Saints" director David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks were hired last year to write the adapted script, from which Lowery will direct. The update reinvents the core of the original concept but won't feature songs. While the dragon in the original was traditionally animated, in the remake he will be a CG animated creation
Jim Whitaker will produce the update.
Production starts in New Zealand later this month through April.