You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MGM, Henson collar ‘Good Boy’ for Hoffman

Companies eye franchise with CGI-enhanced canines

Hollywood is going to the dogs, again.

Following the B.O. success of the Warner Bros. pic “Scooby-Doo” and Spyglass Entertainment’s recent pickup of the “Underdog” film rights, MGM has greenlit “Good Boy!,” a co-production with Jim Henson Pictures that will be helmed by its scripter, John Hoffman.

The family comedy is a hybrid of live-action performers and CGI-enhanced canines, similar to the manner in which “Babe” anthropomorphized animals. It follows the adventures of an alien dog coming to Earth from Sirius, the Dog Star, to investigate interstellar reports that his fellow canines have abandoned their original plan to take over the planet. While investigating, he becomes the pet and friend of a human boy.

“I’m endlessly curious about why dogs, among all animals, have formed such a unique bond with people,” said Hoffman, who wrote the script based on original material by Zeke Richardson, then recently did a rewrite of it recently that led to the greenlight. His acting-out of the dog characters while explaining the script led the producers to name him as helmer, his first directing post.

Franchise plans

MGM and Henson officials are hoping the $20 million pic can become a franchise.

“We really have a lot of ambitions for this film,” said Lisa Henson, who will produce with Kristine Belson. In researching previous pics with dog stars, Henson said, she was struck by the number of titles that had bred subsequent successful direct-to-video sequels, including “Air Bud,” “Balto” and “Beethoven.”

Casting for the young boy who will be the lead actor has begun, and prominent stars will be sought to voice the pic’s seven dog roles. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Vancouver in late August, with Stephanie Allain to exec produce.

Hoffman’s writing credits include TV drama “Northern Lights,” “Queen Bess,” “Indianapolis,” “In Harm’s Way” and “Queen of the Jews.” He is repped by the William Morris Agency and Industry Entertainment.

More Film

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

  • Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    'Last Black Man in San Francisco' Star Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    Jimmie Fails, co-writer and star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” has signed with CAA for representation. The drama, inspired by Fails’ own life, had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge described the film as “a gorgeous and touchingly idealistic [...]

  • Stuck

    Film Review: 'Stuck'

    A stalled New York City subway carriage serves as a toe-tapping musical Petri dish for six socioeconomically diverse souls in the unique stage-to-screen musical adaptation “Stuck.” Sharing a stylistic template with its 2016 left-coast cousin “La La Land” (which it predated Off-Broadway by a good four years), the film’s 2017 copyright suggests a missed opportunity [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content