In case you hadn’t heard, the upcoming film A Dog’s Purpose has been riddled with controversy stemming from an incident of a German Shepherd being forced into the water where it almost drowned while filming in Winnipeg last fall. In order to combat some of the negative press, the press junket and premiere of the film that was scheduled for this weekend has now been cancelled.
After a video of the incident went viral this week lead actor Dennis Quaid was so upset by it that he’s helped PETA call for a boycott of of the film. Josh Gad, who voices the dog in the film, contacted both Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures to figure out how the incident could have happened. The studios have claimed that they have no knowledge of the incident and have launched an investigation with director Lasse Hallström who wasn’t present during it either.
The studios released the following statement on their decision to cancels this weekend’s events.
“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.”
A Dog’s Purpose is based on the best selling novel of the same name, and is about a dog who is reincarnated several times and finds himself living with different people. The movie is currently set to be released on January 27th, but with all the controversy surrounding it, it still might be pulled. At least until the studios get to the bottom of what happened.