Robert Redford is also in talks to star with Oakes Fegley playing the title character.
David Lowery is set to direct from a script he wrote with Toby Halbrooks.
The story is a reinvention of the 1977 film that revolves around Pete and his best friend Elliot, who happens to be dragon. The first pic was a musical, but sources say this will be a straight narrative. The movie will be live-action with CGI used to bring the dragon to life.
Jim Whitaker is producing.
Howard, who is repped by ICM Partners and Management 360, can be seen next in “Jurassic World.” Other past credits include “The Help,” “Hereafter” and “50/50.”