Back in 1974, a Watergate-weary America needed a smile. Enter Benji, a cute little mutt who starred in a slew of films and TV shows and helped make it all better. Flash-forward to 2016, a politics-weary populace is getting another chance to grin its cares away.
Brandon Camp, whose father Joe was behind the original Benji and its sequels and spinoffs, will write and direct a modern retelling of the dog tale with a newly rescued new Benji. The younger Camp is partnering on the film with Blumhouse Productions, whose microbudget model gives him the free rein on the project — just as Dad did back in the ’70s when he made Benji outside the studio system and created a juggernaut. Jason Blum will produce with Brandon Camp.
Now before you start salivating like Pavlov’s dog over the prospect of Benji as Cujo, remember that Blumhouse has produced plenty on nongenre fare — think Whiplash, The Normal Heart, etc. — and continues to do so. Regardless, the mere thought of a new Benji movie is worth a tail wag or two. Furry fun fact: The American Humane Association has reported that because the original Benji was rescued from an animal shelter, more than 1 million dogs were adopted from shelters across the country. Tail Wag 2: The Sequel.
The Camps introduced their new canine star on NBC’s Today this morning, which you can watch above.