BARKING NEWS: Wishbone movie is now in development!
As colossal fans of dog movies in general and Wishbone in particular, this is spectacular news for us here at Dog O’Day.
This was first reported by Variety.
It will be produced by Universal Pictures and Mattel Films, with a script by Roy Parker and Peter Farrelly (Fever Pitch, Green Book, Osmosis Jones) attached to direct.
The project will be overseen by Mattel Films executive producer Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club, Safe Haven) and supervising producer Kevin McKeon and Universal director of development Lexi Barta.
“Our deep library of iconic franchises continues to offer cinematic storytelling opportunities,” Brenner said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be working with Peter Farrelly, Roy Parker and Universal to take the beloved dog classic into a new direction with a modern reimagination of the franchise.”
Wishbone was a PBS TV series that ran from 1996-98, with reruns airing on most stations until 2001 (where it was replaced by the original Clifford the Big Red Dog series). It was set in the fictional North Texas suburb of Oakdale, narrated by a literature-loving Jack Russell Terrier named Wishbone (voiced by Larry Brantley).
Main human characters included Wishbone’s owner, middle-schooler Joe Talbot (Jordan Wall), his best friends Sam Kepler (Christie Abbott) and David Barnes (Adam Springfield), in addition to Joe’s librarian mother Ellen (Wall’s real-life mom Mary Chris Wall), the Talbots’ eccentric gardening neighbor Wanda GIlmore (Angee Hughes) and Joe’s nemesis Damont Jones (Joe Duffield).
Each episode was broken into two parts – one adventure set in the real world, and a stage=play like reenactment of classic literature that tied into the current situation. One of the recurring actors used in the literary adaptations was a pre-fame Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, The Gifted).
Mo Rocca, now known as an author and TV personality, was part of the show’s writing staff, and the adaptations were so on-point that during college I (Wesley) would occasionally re-watch episodes to refresh my memory about certain classic novels.
Hopefully this Wishbone movie will serve as a springboard for a new reboot or continuation of the series. A release date is currently unknown, though 2022 would likely be the earliest it would release. It is also unknown whether it will release in theaters or directly to a streaming site, though since Universal Pictures is behind it, that direct site-release would probably be to NBC’s Peacock.