Watching Channing Tatum‘s career moves has been intriguing and inspiring. Breaking through in teen-friendly titles like Step Up and She’s the Man, Tatum has since diversified his image, slaying in comedies like 21 Jump Street, somber dramas like Foxcatcher, and, like, every contemporary Steven Soderbergh film. Now, Tatum makes the next logical step — behind the camera. As reported by Deadline, he’ll be making his directorial debut with an unorthodox-sounding road trip comedy called Dog.
Tatum will co-direct the film with Reid Carolin, who has written and produced many of Tatum’s recent hits, including Magic Mike and Logan Lucky. The two also wrote the script together, alongside Tatum’s longtime friend Brett Rodriguez. It sounds more tonally complicated than your average road trip comedy, with its plot description promising to explore themes of grief, redemption, and PTSD.
Army Ranger Briggs (Tatum) has a dog, Lulu. And the two have a mission: Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in time to attend the funeral of Briggs’ best friend — and Lulu’s former handler. Along the way, they’ll get into all kinds of shenanigans: eccentric pet psychics, aggressive marijuana farmers, and some classic buddy-picture “driving each other insane” business (except, you know, one of them is a dog). But they’ll also teach each other lessons and help each other grow.
Dog sounds like it has the potential to be an indie-crossover hit — different enough to play to cinephiles, crowd-pleasing enough to play to general audiences. It also sounds like a combination of many of Tatum’s interests and successes. We’ve seen the actor succeed in broad comedy, surprisingly nuanced drama, and the depictions of inner workings of men who have predominantly physical tasks. Dog looks to combine all of this and more — the perfect choice for a directorial debut.
For more on Mr. Tatum, check him out playing a silly game alongside Smallfoot costar James Corden.