Based on the children’s book series written by Norman Bridwell, the film will follow middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) who meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) and is given a little, red puppy only to wake up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure for audiences to behold.
The film was originally set to release on Sept. 17 but was pushed back due to concerns surrounding the delta variant like several other films were this past year, including Tom Cruise’s latest installment of “Top Gun.” Now premiering in both theaters and on Paramount’s streaming service, “Clifford the Big Red Dog” will give audiences the choice of seeing it according to their safety preference.
Paramount tried the same strategy with “Paw Patrol” in August, which it said performed well on Paramount Plus and debuted to $13 million in theaters. ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish said earlier this week, “We think that’s actually a very good model for kids and family films, again, particularly in this COVID-impacted time, because it gives consumers optionality to view the product where they feel the most comfortable and we did a bunch of research on that. The result of that move, though, was a film which did very well both theatrically and it was a significant driver for Paramount+, where it’s actually now one of the most watched originals to date.”
The film is directed by Walt Becker who is best known for directing “Van Wilder” which starred Ryan Reynolds, “Wild Hogs” and “Old Dogs.” It is executive produced by Brian Oliver as well as Bradley J. Fischer, Valerii An, Brian Bell, Caitlin Friedman, Deborah Forte and Lisa Crnic.