Robert Redford in Talks for Disney's 'Pete's Dragon' (Exclusive)

Ruven Afanador

Up-and-coming kid actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence star in the remake

Robert Redford is in early talks to join Pete’s Dragon, Disney’s remake of its 1977 classic children's movie.

David Lowery, who helmed the crime drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, is directing the feature, which is eyeing a shoot in New Zealand this fall. Jim Whitaker is producing.

While the original was set in a fishing village at the turn of the 20th century, the new story is set against the backdrop of loggers cutting down a forest. Pete is a boy whose parents died in car crash, and who has been subsequently raised by Elliot, the titular dragon, who resides in the threatened forest.

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Figuring into the proceedings are a forest ranger who finds the boy, the young daughter of the mill owner and the greedy brother of the mill owner (Look out, Elliot!).

Boardwalk Empire actor Oakes Fegley is starring as Pete while Oona Laurence (who won a Tony for Broadway’s Matilda) has been cast as the mill owner's daughter.

If a deal makes, Redford will play a local who tells tall tales involving dragons that no one believes. The project will be live-action with CGI used for the dragon.

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Redford seems to be enjoying a revived interest from Hollywood after years of indie filmmaking and is coming off of a key role in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The actor is currently in Australia shooting Truth, in which he plays Dan Rather. The film, also starring Cate Blanchett, explores Rather’s final days at CBS News.

Redford is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.

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