Bryce Dallas Howard is no stranger to film remakes. The actress and mom of two was part of the last summer’s mega-blockbuster hit “Jurassic World," where she famously made running from dinosaurs while wearing heels look good. On August 12, she'll be dealing with a different sort of reptile—one that's not so scary—in Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon." And as far as we know, heels will not be making an appearance.
Howard plays a forest ranger who finds a boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) in the woods. Pete was lost years prior and tells her that he's been living with a dragon named Elliott. Not believing him at first, she and her father (Robert Redford), who has been telling dragon stories for years, follow him into the forest and meet Elliot themselves, and what follows is the stuff Disney magic is made of.
“I love 'Pete’s Dragon,'” said Howard at a recent footage presentation mom.me attended for the film. “I have the little board book for my kids that I read to them constantly.”
The beloved tale won’t be so much of a remake, but rather, a re-imagination, which is why Howard eagerly joined the project.
“I didn’t want it to just be a copycat," Howard noted. "I feel like we see a lot of those. Some of them are great, some of them don’t work. I felt like this story, and the themes within the original film, was what the charm of that movie was. When I heard that it wasn’t a straight-up remake, I was like, 'Yes, I want to be part of that.'”
Her role as a mother also influenced her decision.
“I’m a parent, I want there to be beautiful films out there that have innocence, that are timeless, and have really beautiful values without being didactic," added Howard, who is the daughter of the original boy next door, actor/director Ron Howard.
While Bryce and Redford pack a punch with their all-star names, Bryce admits that she loves to have her own children watch films with other kids like Fegley in them because “it empowers children to have an understanding of contextualizing their own story and their own belief system and their own emotional value. They learn to value their feelings.”
And what are her own kids' feelings about the upcoming movie? (Her son Theo is 9 years old, and her daughter Beatrice is 4.)
“They are very excited,” she said, adding that she uses the trailer as bait.
"I’ll say things like, 'In two weeks, the trailer is coming out and you won’t be allowed to see it ... now go to bed!’”