The British version of canine classic “Lassie” is barking its way Stateside.
Samuel Goldwyn and partner Roadside Attractions have teamed up with the Weinstein Co. to acquire U.S. distrib rights to the film from Classic Media, home of the Lassie franchise.
Film, shot in the U.K., was directed by Charles Sturridge and stars Peter O’Toole, Samantha Morton, Peter Dinklage and Jonathan Mason. Sturridge also penned the script.
Goldwyn and Roadside, which pool marketing resources, will release “Lassie” theatrically Sept. 1, while TWC and homevid affiliate Genius Products will handle the DVD release. TWC and Genius bought the DVD and television rights during the Tribeca Film Fest.
Based on the bestselling children’s book by Eric Knight, pic is the 11th Lassie feature.
In Sturridge’s rendition, set on the eve of World War II in Yorkshire, England, the Carraclough family is forced to sell Lassie to a wealthy duke in northern Scotland after falling on hard times. Lassie, however, is determined to return home to her young owner, even if it means traveling more than 500 miles.
“This is a beautiful and new version of the classic tale that emphasizes virtues like loyalty, honesty and respect for animals,” Roadside’s Howard Cohen said.
Film also stars Steve Pemberton, John Lynch and Jemma Redgrave.