Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Movies: Universal Cancels Premiere and Junket Screening for “A Dog’s Purpose” as PETA Bares Claws


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.

Universal says:

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.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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