EXCLUSIVE: Mark Wahlberg canine adventure pic Arthur The King has moved from Paramount Players to Lionsgate for domestic and will enter the Cannes virtual market on the slate of eOne-backed international sales firm Sierra/Affinity.
The film re-teams Wahlberg with his Contraband and 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormakur and is likely to be among the most in-demand projects at the virtual event, not least because international buyers will have the security of knowing a U.S. deal is in place, which is a rare thing for a pre-sales title and an added bonus amid coronavirus uncertainty.
The true story is based on the 2017 book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed The Jungle To Find A Home, by Mikael Lindnord, the captain of a Swedish adventure racing team. Lindnord met and befriended a wounded stray dog during a 400-mile race through the Ecuadoran jungle where they crossed rivers and battled illness and injury through some of the world’s toughest terrain. Wahlberg will play the Swedish adventurer.
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The plan is to shoot the movie in Puerto Rico in fall 2020, we understand. Casting for the dog and other lead roles is underway.
Entertainment One (eOne) and Tucker Tooley Entertainment are financing. Script comes from Michael Brandt. Tucker Tooley (We’re The Millers), Mark Canton (300), Courtney Solomon, and Tessa Tooley will produce and Dorothy Canton, Michael Brandt and Mikael Lindnord will executive produce.
The studio shift has been in the works for a few months. We hear Lionsgate’s commitment is sizeable and includes a strong theatrical push. It’s not immediately clear why Paramount is no longer aboard but the project may have been a casualty of studios’ increasing desire for franchises. Also, Paramount doesn’t yet have its own streaming platform so they wouldn’t necessarily have been able to pivot a standalone movie like this if they had wanted.
Tooley Entertainment’s upcoming projects include Den Of Thieves 2: Pantera starring Gerard Butler and O’Shea Jackson, Jr.; Concrete Cowboy with Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, and Jharrel Jerome; Now I See You with Emma Roberts; and The Way Between, written by Frozen writer/director and Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer, Jennifer Lee. Tucker Tooley is a also producer on Lee Daniels’ upcoming film The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.
Mark Canton’s Atmosphere Entertainment is working on a slate of projects including Den Of Thieves 2 and the next sequel to 300, which is being written by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad for Warner Bros.
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