Disney confirms Pete’s Dragon will be filmed in New Zealand

Starring Robert Redford, the movie will be a mixture of CGI and live-action and will use the Bay of Plenty, the Canterbury region and Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios

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Filming on Disney’s remake of the 1977 classic musical movie Pete’s Dragon is set to take place in New Zealand between January and April 2015.

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The movie will star Robert Redford (Out of Africa) and Oakes Fegley (Boardwalk Empire), and rumours are circulating that Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help) may also join the cast.

Pete’s Dragon will be the first movie since The Hobbit to film at Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in Wellington, which generated millions of pounds for the nation. Luckily for NZ, the country’s dramatic backdrops will yet again appear on a blockbuster, which is set to include the stunning Bay of Plenty, mountainous Canterbury region and beautiful forests in the area, as the story follows a boy and his friendship with a dragon, which lives in an endangered woodland. 

“We were searching for a shooting location that captures the wonder and spirit of Pete’s Dragon,” said producer Jim Whitaker. 

“The New Zealand aesthetic beautifully matches what the screenplay requires, and we’re grateful to receive such tremendous support from the filmmaking community and industry in this country.” 

It’s believed that Film New Zealand took two years to secure the shoot. Gisella Carr, CEO of the national film office, explained; “We’re delighted to welcome back Disney, which has such a long history of production in this country. It’s great to see the combination of New Zealand’s favourable screen incentives, locations and skill base have enabled such a high-profile production to come here.”

Pete’s Dragon will be released in 2017.


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