At some point in his career, Tim Hill may win an Oscar and/or be considered one of the masters of the craft. But when people inspect Hill’s back catalogue, one title will stand out from the others: Walter the Farting Dog. Hill has agreed to direct the family movie about a flatulent pet for Paramount Pictures, on the heels of yesterday’s news that he’s attached to direct the Short Circuit remake.
Though the title may sound like a bad joke, the team behind Walter is actually pretty impressive. The current version of the story (originally based on a series of children’s books) is written by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow whose credits include Toy Story and Garfield. Say what you will about the quality of Garfield, but the flick made a healthy amount at the box office. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the intricately plotted book.
Risky Business broke the news of Hill’s involvement, and he’s no stranger to family fare as he was the director behind the surprisingly successful Easter-centric Hop as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks. Chipmunks grossed more than 200 million dollars in its theatrical run and Hop more than 150 million. Tim Hill knows how to make children’s movies.
Walter the Farting Dog gained a little notoriety a few years back when the Jonas Brothers were attached to star, but they have since dropped out of the project. As for the current cast, well, there is none. No release date has been set, but the film is projected to be released sometime in 2013.
Here’s the synopsis for the book:
We hold this truth to be self-evident: farting makes kids laugh. Walter, an apologetic-looking dog adopted from the pound, passes gas morning, noon, and night, no matter what he eats, whether it’s a 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits, cat food, or fried chicken. On the bright side, “If Uncle Irv let one slip, he just went and stood near Walter.” When Father reaches the limit of his patience with Walter’s flatulence, he decides the pooch is once again pound-bound, despite Betty and Billy’s pleading. Poor Walter knows his days are numbered and “He resolved to hold in his farts forever.” That very night, two burglars break into Walter’s family’s house, and (you can see where this is going) Walter gasses the burglars with a “hideous cloud” that forces them to drop their loot and run into the clutches of the police officers, “choking and gasping for air.” The next morning Father and Mother discover Walter has saved the day–or at least their silverware and VCR. “And so the family learned to live with Walter, the hero dog. And that is the end of our tail.” (Or is it? Fans will be pleased to discover the next book Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale.) Audrey Colman’s highly stylized illustrations, imbued with a surreal, Monty Pythonesque collage look, are as absurdly comical as this silly story that is purely powered by natural gas. [Amazon]