‘Frasier’ pooch toplines ‘Moose’ for Storm

Prod. company to finance, distribute $4.5 million pic

Storm Entertainment will finance and distribute the $4.5 million family pic “Moose on the Loose,” starring Eddie, the lovable canine from the NBC sitcom “Frasier.”

Storm has pre-sold the film, which is not yet cast, to Leone (Italy), Metropolitan Filmexport (France) and Taurus (Germany). “Moose” begins shooting July 1.

The film was written by Jeff Lieberman (“The NeverEnding Story III”) and Charles Rocket. Lieberman will direct, and Rocket will produce alongside Storm president and chief executive officer H. Michael Heuser.

Heuser said dog-themed family films had a solid track record at the international box office, inspired in part by the success of last year’s “Air Bud,” distributed in the U.S. by Walt Disney Co. and internationally by Keystone Entertainment.

Other new pooch projects include Calliston Entertainment’s “Soccer Dog,” which is being handled in most territories by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.

In “Moose,” a TV celebrity dog sees life on the other side of the tracks when he saves the life of poor dog and its owner.

Storm’s other new AFM projects include the drama “Johnny Hit and Run Pauline,” which is being executive produced by Emma Thompson; and Italian drama “Portofino,” starring John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest.

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