Universal Pictures has just canceled its press junket for “A Dog’s Purpose” following the growing scandal around a German Shepherd which may have been terrorized on set by its trainer.
PETA has jumped way into the melee, asking Universal to pull the Lasse Hallstrom directed film. Hallstrom and voice over actor (in this case, he’s usually in person) Josh Gad have each expressed concern over the video that’s circulating of the dog and his trainer.
Hallstrom, whose many great movies include “My Life as A Dog,” is just about the nicest and most conscientious director in the world. He’s worked a lot of with kids and pets, and is known for being exceedingly good to them. I doubt this video is indicative of anything that happened on the film.
Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing, distributor Universal Pictures has decided it is in the best interest of A DOG’S PURPOSE to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket. Amblin and Universal do not want anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between animals and humans.
Since the emergence of the footage, Amblin has engaged with many associated with the production of the film, including safety personnel, trainers and stunt coordinators as part of their in-depth review. While we are all disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress, everyone has assured us that Hercules the German Shepherd was not harmed throughout the filmmaking.
We continue to support this film, are incredibly proud of it and will release it for audiences nationwide next Friday.