David Lowery (director)

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David Lowery
David Lowery Deauville 2013.jpg
Lowery at the Deauville Film Festival, 2013
Born (1980-12-26) December 26, 1980 (age 42)
EducationIrving High School
Years active2000–present
(m. 2010)

David Lowery (born December 26, 1980) is an American filmmaker.

His original work Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[1] In 2016, he directed the Disney film Pete's Dragon (2016), a live-action film which he had co-written. It was a new work loosely based on the same original story as the Disney 1977 musical of the same name. In 2017, he directed the drama film A Ghost Story and in 2018, he directed The Old Man & the Gun. In 2021, he directed the fantasy epic The Green Knight.

Early life[edit]

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,[2] on December 26, 1980,[3] David Lowery is the eldest of nine children born to Madeleine and Mark Lowery. When he was seven, his family moved to Irving, Texas for his father's work. Lowery attended Irving High School.[4]

At the age of 19, Lowery wrote and directed his first film, a short entitled Lullaby.[4]


Lowery's first feature film, St. Nick, which follows two runaway children abandoned by their guardians, premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest festival.[5][6] It won the Texas Filmmaker Award at the 2009 AFI Dallas International Film Festival.[7]

In 2011, Lowery started his own production company, Sailor Bear.[8] That same year, he wrote and directed the short film entitled Pioneer, which played at the Sundance Film Festival that year.[9]

In 2013, Lowery wrote, directed and edited his second feature film, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.[10] The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[1] It was selected to compete at the International Critics' Week section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[11] Lowery has said that he drew from great directors and their works for this film, citing Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum,[12] Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller,[13] and Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher as influences.[14]

In addition to having edited films such as Amy Seimetz's Sun Don't Shine and Shane Carruth's Upstream Color,[15] Lowery co-wrote Pit Stop with director Yen Tan.[16] At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that Lowery would write and direct the film adaptation of the novel The Yellow Birds, written by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers; it was a 2012 National Book Award finalist. The film was eventually directed by Alexandre Moors and stars Jack Huston, Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich and Jennifer Aniston.[17]

In April 2016, Lowery directed a remake of Disney's Pete's Dragon, which was met with positive reviews.[18] Lowery also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Toby Halbrooks.[19] In July 2016, it was announced Lowery would direct an episode of Breakthrough for National Geographic Channel.[20] In November 2016, it was announced Lowery had shot a new film, A Ghost Story, over the summer with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as a secret project.[21][22]

Lowery next directed the 2018 drama film The Old Man & the Gun, starring Robert Redford as bank robber, Forrest Tucker, and Casey Affleck.[23]


Lowery followed up The Old Man and the Gun with the medieval fantasy The Green Knight which stars Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson and Sean Harris.[24][25] The film was scheduled to world premiere at South by Southwest in March 2020, and release on May 29, 2020, but the premiere and release were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[26][27] It was released on July 30, 2021.[28]

Lowery directed a segment of the anthology film The Year of the Everlasting Storm which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021[29][30] and was released in theatres on 3 September 2021.[31]

After working with Disney on Pete's Dragon, Lowery signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of their 1953 animated film Peter Pan in April 2016.[32] The film, titled Peter Pan & Wendy and starring Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Jude Law as Captain Hook, and Ever Anderson as Wendy Darling, is set to be released on Disney+ on April 28, 2023.[33]

In March 2023, it was announced Lowery would write and direct the music drama film Mother Mary for A24, with Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel starring and Jack Antonoff and Charli XCX writing original songs for the project.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Lowery married filmmaker Augustine Frizzell in 2010.[35] As of 2013, they live in Dallas.[36] Lowery identifies as an atheist, and has been a vegan since approximately 1996.[37][38]



Year Title Director Writer Editor Notes
2005 Deadroom Yes Yes Yes Also producer
2009 St. Nick Yes Yes Yes
It Was Great, But I Was Ready to Come Home No Yes Yes
2013 Ain't Them Bodies Saints Yes Yes No
Pit Stop No Yes No
2016 Pete's Dragon Yes Yes No
2017 A Ghost Story Yes Yes Yes
2017 The Yellow Birds No Yes No
2018 The Old Man & the Gun Yes Yes No
2021 The Green Knight Yes Yes Yes Also producer
2023 Peter Pan & Wendy Yes Yes No Post-production

Executive producer

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer Editor DoP Notes
2000 Lullaby Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Also camera operator
The Knocker No No No Yes Yes
2003 Still Yes Yes Executive Yes No
Looking for Love Yes Yes No Yes Yes
2006 G.D.M.F. No No Yes Yes Yes
Some Analog Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes No
2007 The Outlaw Son[39] Yes Yes No No No
2008 A Catalog of Anticipations[40] Yes Yes No No No
Coda No No Yes Yes Yes
Merrily, Merrily No Yes No Yes No
2009 The Crane House No No No Yes Yes
Boycrazy Promo Yes No Executive Yes Yes
Boycrazy in Bed Yes No Executive Yes Yes
Boycrazy Gets a Job Yes No Executive Yes Yes
Boycrazy Bikini Mishap Yes No Executive Yes Yes
Boycrazy at the Drug Store Yes No Executive Yes Yes
2011 Pioneer[41] Yes Yes No Yes No
My Daily Routine[42] Yes No No No No Documentary short
2014 Until We Could[43] Yes Yes No No No
2021 Dig Up My Darling Yes Yes No No No Segment of The Year of the Everlasting Storm
2022 Oak Thorn & The Old Rose Of Love Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Additional credits[edit]

Year Title Role
2008 Blood on the Highway Second unit director and assistant camera
Ciao Editor and co-producer
2009 Alexander the Last Additional editor and sound recordist
St. Nick Editor
2010 Lovers of Hate Cinematographer
Audrey the Trainwreck
Shadowboxing Editor
2011 Bad Fever
Uncertain, TX
Universal Squadrons
2012 Sun Don't Shine
Reconvergence Cinematographer
Nor'easter Editor
2013 Upstream Color
2014 Listen Up Philip Producer
Empire Builder Editor and cinematographer

Acting roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Happy Birthday Videographer
2008 Blood on the Highway Vampire
2009 Alexander the Last Stagehand
2017 A Ghost Story Neighbor's Ghost Uncredited


Year Title Director Executive
Writer Episode(s)
2014 Rectify Yes No No "Donald the Normal"
2017 Breakthrough Yes No No "Addiction: A Psychedelic Cure?"
2018 Strange Angel[44] Yes Yes No "Augurs of Spring" and "Ritual of Abduction"
2021 Cinema Toast Yes No Yes "The Gunshot Heard 'Round the World"


  1. ^ a b Lin, Kristian (January 28, 2013). "North Texas Films at Sundance: How'd They Do?". Fort Worth Weekly.
  2. ^ Aquino, Tara (August 16, 2013). "Rethinking the West with "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," David Lowery's Artful Sophomore Feature". Complex.
  3. ^ Mead, Rebecca (January 2012). "Into the Deep". Allure. pp. 103–106.
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Christopher (August 2013). "How David Lowery Became Dallas' Most Important Filmmaker". D Magazine.
  5. ^ Schager, Nick (April 17, 2011). "St. Nick - Film Review". Slant Magazine.
  6. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 16, 2013). "Sundance 2013: 5 Faces to Watch". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ Kay, Jeremy (April 6, 2009). "Gigantic, Skin among key winners at AFI Dallas festival". Screen International.
  8. ^ "David Lowery". Variety.
  9. ^ Kohn, Eric (January 20, 2013). "Sundance Interview: 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Director David Lowery Explains Making More Accessible Movies and Why He Can't Stop Editing Them". IndieWire.
  10. ^ Smith, Derek (August 20, 2013). "Ain't Them Bodies Saints - Film Review". Tiny Mix Tapes.
  11. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (April 22, 2013). "Cannes Reveals International Critics' Week Lineup; 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Makes the Cut". IndieWire.
  12. ^ Harrison, Eddie (September 4, 2013). "Interview: David Lowery, director of Ain't Them Bodies Saints". The List.
  13. ^ Gibson, Anthony (February 21, 2014). "David Lowery: I wanted to capture the essence of the great directors, such as Robert Altman, for Ain't Them Bodies Saints". Metro.
  14. ^ Cox, Gordon (January 7, 2013). "Lowery: Texan talent is Sundance-bound". Variety.
  15. ^ Aquino, Tara (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery - 25 Directors Who Are 35 and Under You Should Know". Complex.
  16. ^ Olsen, Mark (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery's rapid rise with 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (May 17, 2014). "CANNES: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan in Iraq War Drama 'Yellow Birds'". Variety.
  18. ^ Pete's Dragon (2016) Rotten Tomatoes.
  19. ^ "After Gritty Sundance Debut On ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’, David Lowery To Reinvent ‘Pete's Dragon’ For Disney." Deadline Hollywood (March 19, 2013).
  20. ^ "National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series BREAKTHROUGH". Business Wire. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  21. ^ Raup, Jordan (November 22, 2016). "Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Secretly Shot a New Feature With David Lowery This Summer". The Film Stage. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  22. ^ Murthi, Vikram (November 22, 2016). "Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck Shot A Secret New Film With David Lowery". Indiewire.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 23, 2017). "Fox Searchlight Landing Robert Redford & Casey Affleck Starrer 'Old Man And The Gun'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  24. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 6, 2018). "'The Old Man & The Gun' Director David Lowery, A24 Team On Fantasy Epic 'Green Knight'". Deadline. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  25. ^ Sharf, Zack (February 13, 2020). "'The Green Knight' Trailer: Dev Patel, David Lowery Dazzle With Indie Fantasy Epic". IndieWire. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 2, 2020). "A24's Fantasy Film 'The Green Knight' To Make World Premiere At SXSW". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "City of Austin Cancels SXSW March Events". South by Southwest. March 6, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  28. ^ Ferme, Antonio (May 11, 2021). "'The Green Knight' Trailer: Watch Dev Patel Slay Monsters in A24's Medieval Fantasy". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  29. ^ Kay, Jeremy (May 19, 2021). "Jafar Panahi, Laura Poitras among directors on secret Neon film 'The Year Of The Everlasting Storm'". Screen International. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  30. ^ "The films of the Official Selection 2021". Cannes Film Festival. June 3, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  31. ^ Kenigsberg, Ben (2 September 2021). "'The Year of the Everlasting Storm' Review: Home Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  32. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 13, 2016). "Disney Sets 'Pete's Dragon' Helmer David Lowery For New Live Action Peter Pan Film". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  33. ^ Reul, Katie (February 28, 2023). "'Peter Pan & Wendy' Trailer Unveils Jude Law's Captain Hook, Yara Shahidi's Tinkerbell and a Whole New Neverland". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  34. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 21, 2023). "Michaela Coel And Anne Hathaway To Star In Pop Music Epic 'Mother Mary' For David Lowery And A24". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 22, 2023.
  35. ^ Mariani, Anthony (March 21, 2012). "Second Annual Visionary Awards". Fort Worth Weekly.
  36. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (January 25, 2013). "Daily Buzz: Sundance Episode 8". Film Society of Lincoln Center.
  37. ^ McKee, Hannah (29 August 2016). "Director David Lowery talks fluffy dragons and Taika Waititi". Stuff.
  38. ^ Whalen, Andrew (12 July 2017). "A Ghost Story Director David Lowery Embraces Death To Transcend Nihilism". Player.One.
  39. ^ "AFS Goes a Long Way Back with A GHOST STORY Director David Lowery". Austin Film Society. 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  40. ^ "SOMA Magazine » Archive » David Lowery Starts Talking". Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  41. ^ "Pioneer by David Lowery | Short Film". Short of the Week. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  42. ^ "MCU Times". mcutimes.com. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  43. ^ "WATCH: Freedom to Marry's "Until We Could," by inaugural poet Richard Blanco | Freedom to Marry". www.freedomtomarry.org. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  44. ^ Greene, Steve (2 August 2017). "David Lowery Set to Direct TV Show About a Sex Occultist Who Helped Invent Rocket Science". Indiewire. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

External links[edit]