Most fans were expecting several surprises at the D23 Expo's Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel yesterday, and they were not disappointed. When the official schedule was released last month, the studio announced that upcoming movies such as Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel's Captain America: Civil War and Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be presented, but fans were treated with much more than that. Along with the surprise additions of The Finest Hours, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Marvel's Doctor Strange, the studio presented Pete's Dragon to the D23 crowd, with star Bryce Dallas Howard taking the stage in a Disney t-shirt.
Bryce Dallas Howard joined President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production President Sean Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in Pete's Dragon, a reimagining of Disney's cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, Pete's Dragon is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie M. Osborne. The film stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford.
Pete's Dragon opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016. The Disney family movie goes up against Sony Pictures' animated movie comedy Sausage Party and Spectral, a new action-thriller from Universal Pictures. The original Pete's Dragon, which was also a live-action/animated hybrid, hit theaters in November 1977, starring Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney, Red Buttons, Shelley Winters and Sean Marshall.
Pete's Dragon also opens one week after Warner Bros.' highly-anticipated superhero movie Suicide Squad. While both movies surely have vastly different audiences, Suicide Squad is expected to perform well, and it could affect Pete's Dragon's box office performance if the film opens huge. Of course, we have no clue how this box office race will pan out for certain, but it is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
In case you weren't able to make it to the D23 Expo yesterday, we have a new video featuring highlights from the Pete's Dragon panel, along with a new interview with star Bryce Dallas Howard. Since we still have just under one year until this remake hits theaters, it isn't immediately clear when fans will get to see the first trailer, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as the trailer debuts online. Until then, check out the panel highlights and Bryce Dallas Howard's interview below.