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Man! This Dog-Sledding Movie Is Going to be Epic!

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | January 26, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | January 26, 2010 |


This story first broke over on THR, but I actually caught it first on FirstShowing, and I’m sorry,but every time I read their headline, I giggle uncontrollably:

Gavin Hood in Talks to Direct Epic Alaskan Dog Sledding Film

Epic Dog Sledding Movie? I’m not suggesting it’s inaccurate (in fact, the logline supports it), it’s just that I would never associate a dog-sledding movie with the word epic. It’s like, “I just took an epic piss,” or “My trip to the supermarket was epic” or “Your new marble countertop is epic.

I mean, it’s a dog sledding movie. How epic can it be?

Actually, fairly epic: It’s about the true story of a “674-mile journey undertaken by 20 men and 200 dogs who rushed a diphtheria antidote to Nome, Alaska in 1952. The group braved temperatures of minus-60 degrees, a phenomenon known as ice fog and other dangers, capturing the attention of the lower 48 states. One lead dog even got a statue in New York’s Central Park.”

In other words, this ain’t Eight Below or Snow Dogs; it’s a real goddamn movie. How well will that story translate onto film? I dunno, but Gavin Hood — if we can take a moment and look past the idiocy of Wolverine — is actually a much better director than he’s given credit for: See Tsotsi and, to a lesser extent, Rendition, which was a decent movie that came out at the wrong time.

Based on Gay and Laney Salisbury’s book The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic, the untitled movie is set to begin shooting this summer, which may rule him out of directing the sequel to Wolverine, which is a win win for everyone. Hood is a good director; he just wasn’t an appropriate choice for that franchise. A bag of testicles could’ve directed Wolverine and it wouldn’t have looked much different.


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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.