EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Morrison’s feature directorial debut Sun Dogs has landed at Netflix. I hear that the streaming service has picked up worldwide rights to the film, which stars Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Xzibit, Allison Janney and Ed O’Neill.
Sun Dogs is a poignant story about an intellectually limited young man, desperate to serve in the armed forces despite countless rejections, searching for meaning in his own life. It follows Ned (Angarano), in his repeated failed attempts to join the Marines and serve his country. When his last interview fails, he takes a Marine officer’s advice to “protect the homefront” a little too seriously, and sets his sights on a casino manager who may or may not be a terrorist mastermind. In trying to uncover this “terrorist cell,” he enlists the help of a young runaway, Tally (Benoist), forming the most unlikely possible anti-terrorism unit in a story of love, friendship and homeland security.
The film, directed by Once Upon A Time star Morrison and written by Anthony Tambakis (Warrior), is produced by Bert Hamelinck through his Caviar banner, who previously produced The Diary of a Teenage Girl and The Rider, both of which sold to Sony Pictures Classics, and Gastón Pavlovich of Fabrica De Cine.
Sun Dogs, which was ripped by UTA Independent Film Group, had its U.S premiere at the 2017 LA Film Festival, before impressing audiences at the Austin Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, SCAD Savannah Film Festival, where it won the “Best Narrative Feature” Award, and had its international premiere at the Los Cabos International Film Festival in Mexico.
Morrison, who plays Emma Swan on ABC’s Once Upon A Time, is repped by UTA, John Carrabino and attorney Rick Genow, while Angarano is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman; Benoist by UTA, Anonymous Content and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz; Janney by Gersh, Thruline and Nelson Davis; and O’Neill by Paradigm and Brillstein Entertainment.
She said: “It is a great privilege to have our film in the skilled, creative and talented hands of Netflix. Sun Dogs is a story that is near to my heart not only as director, but also because I believe the characters will resonate so much with people: dreamers, outliers, lovers, and warriors. Because of these wonderful characters, we were able to assemble an extraordinary cast in Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney, Ed O’Neill, and Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner. Their passion and commitment is immeasurable.”