The cast and crew shot scenes in New Zealand for two weeks. During shooting, they were treated to a traditional Maori powhiri and karakia, by the indigenous peoples of New Zealand. The cast and crew enjoyed shooting in New Zealand and frequently spoke about their love for the country.
In 2010, it was announced that Walt Disney Pictures retained the film rights to remake the novel, following the television film version aired in 2003. Following the success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010), Disney announced hiring Jeff Stockwell to write the screenplay for Cary Granat and his new Bedrock Studios. Cary Granat had previously worked with Disney on the Chronicles of Narnia and Bridge to Terabithia films. The project's budget was $35 million, which the company compares to District 9 (2009) and Bridge to Terabithia (2007), both of which had less than $30 million. For reasons unknown, the project was put in development hell. It wouldn't be until four years later, on August 5, 2014, that Disney announced that Jennifer Lee would be the screenwriter for the film, who had a new take on the book and would not be working from Stockwell's draft.