David Lowery in Talks to Add Directing Duties on Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ (Exclusive)

The “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” filmmaker co-wrote the script with Toby Halbrooks

'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Photocall - The 39th Deauville Film FestivalAfter being hired to co-write the screenplay, David Lowery is in negotiations to direct “Pete’s Dragon” for Disney, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

The original 1977 film featured an animated dragon interacting with a live-action cast including Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons and Sean Marshall, who played an orphan fleeing his abusive adoptive parents.

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Lowery and Toby Halbrooks wrote the script, which reinvents the core of the original family film, which is not expected to be a musical this time around.

Lowery has experience working with young actors, having previously directed “St. Nick,” an indie movie about runaway children who have to fend for themselves in the wild.

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Should Lowery close a deal to direct “Pete’s Dragon,” it’s unclear whether that would come before his adaptation of Kevin Powers’ acclaimed novel “The Yellow Birds,” which insiders suggest would take second position. Jeffrey Sharp and Jim Kohlberg’s Story Mining and Supply Co. is developing that film, which is based on Powers’ experiences as an Army machine gunner in Iraq.

Lowery, Halbrooks and their Sailor Bear partner James M. Johnston recently produced Alex Ross Perry‘s movie “Listen Up Philip,” which debuted at Sundance in January and stars Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss.

Lowery is repped by WME.