August 27, 2018 5:52 am
August 27, 2018 5:52 am
"A Dog’s Journey" Adds Betty Gilpin, Marg Helgenberger And Kathryn Prescott

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has begun principal photography on the sequel “A Dog’s Journey,” with Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau and Kathryn Prescott joining Dennis Quaid in the cast.

The announcement was made Sunday, which is National Dog Day in the United States.

“A Dog’s Journey” is the follow-up to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose,” which portrayed a single dog’s spirit incarnated through the lives of four separate canines. Both films are based on the inspirational novels by W. Bruce Cameron. The film is co-financed and co-produced by Walden Media and Alibaba Pictures with Quaid reprising his role as the owner of the dog Bailey, voiced again by Josh Gad.

Gail Mancuso is directing from a screenplay by the writing teams of W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon and Wally Wolodarsky & Maya Forbes. Gavin Polone is producing the film. “A Dog’s Journey” will be distributed by Universal Pictures in the U.S. and select international territories.

Despite controversy over one of the dogs in “A Dog’s Purpose” being allegedly mistreated, the film performed solidly at the box office with $188 million worldwide, with more than half of that attributed to China. Alibaba Pictures provided marketing support for the film in China.

Amblin said China’s pet industry has recently seen tremendous growth and noted that earlier this year, the China Pet Products Association reported a total of 50 million registered dogs in the country, with pet ownership growing at 15% a year.

Alibaba Pictures and Amblin signed a strategic alliance to co-produce and finance films in October 2016. Alibaba also backed Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and the upcoming Chinese movie based on the U.K.’s Peppa Pig cartoon series, “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year.”

“Our mission is to be a gateway for Hollywood into China and help great universal stories with positive energy maximize their potential with audiences in China and around the world,” said Alibaba Pictures President Wei Zhang. “‘A Dog’s Purpose’ was embraced by audiences globally with great storytelling and a heartwarming message. We are excited to build upon the success of that film by working with our partners at Amblin and Walden to bring the next chapter of this film to audiences around the world.”

Helgenberger is best known for starring in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Gilpin stars in Netflix’s “GLOW.” Lau is a singer-actor and Prescott’s credits include “Skins” and “Finding Carter.”

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