Charles Martin Smith will direct from a script adapted by W. Bruce Cameron and his wife from Cameron’s best-selling book. Gavin Polone will produce in a re-teaming with Cameron, who also authored “A Dog’s Purpose” and adapted the screenplay for the movie of the same name.
The production has rescued two dogs, Shelby and Amber, to play the lead role of Bella. The book debuted on May 9 and has been a New York Times bestseller.
Smith is a veteran of films featuring animals, as the director of two “Dolphin Tale movies” and “Air Bud.” Lauren Abrahams and Maia Eyre are overseeing the project for Columbia Pictures.
“A Dog’s Way Home,” which is now in production, chronicles the adventures of Bella, a dog who embarks on a 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her human, Lucas, an aspiring med student and VA hospital volunteer. Bella touches the lives of many during her quest, from an orphaned mountain lion cub to a homeless veteran down on his luck.
The film is the first to star Judd since she was named in an Oct. 5 New York Times report as one of the women with whom Harvey Weinstein settled sexual harassment lawsuits. Judd currently stars in “Berlin Station” for Paramount TV and Epix.
Shipp starred as Storm in Fox’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and will reprise the role in “X-Men Dark: Phoenix.” She also stars in Fox’s 2000’s coming-of-age story “Love, Simon.”
Despite controversy over one of the dogs in “A Dog’s Purpose” being allegedly mistreated, the film performed solidly at the box office with more than $190 million worldwide for Universal.
Judd is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. Shipp is repped by WME, Lisa Wright at Link Ent, and Rick Genow at Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher. Smith is repped by APA and Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler and Feldman, LLP. Hauer-King is repped by CAA.