×
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

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content