Marmaduke Is So 'Risky Business'

December 17, 2009


USA Today has provided us with the first visual portent of huge dog comic strip icon Marmaduke's upcoming live-action/CGI movie. Haha, would you look at that? Marmaduke is so enormous that, in order to fit into a very small car, he has to stick his massive head out the sunroof!

But Marmaduke isn't all look-how-fucking-big-this-dog-is laughs (apparently?). Director Tom Dey wants you to know it's much deeper than that. He's making a film that will capture a particular age just as well as the John Hughes films of the '80s. Only, you know, with the age being in dog years:

The kinds of rich characterizations Hughes embodied in teenage stars such as Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off translate to the Marmaduke story lines, Dey says, including one theme about "the vulnerabilities" of Marmaduke.

"Marmaduke is a teenager, and he's trying to find his way in the world," Dey says. "It's a boy-meets-girl story, a coming-of-age and cautionary tale. My job as director is to try to place the audience inside this world."

So what exactly are Marmaduke's vulnerabilities? Coping with insecurities about his immense size? Battling demons from his childhood? Dog catchers?

No, silly. Obviously Marmaduke's primary vulnerability is his struggle to surf:

"I asked [the dog trainer] if he could teach the dog to surf," Dey says. "Mike said he didn't know if he could even get the dog in the water. The Danes he's worked with in the past have not wanted to go into the water."

So a plot point is Marmaduke, who hates water, being forced to enter a surf competition to save face for his owner.

Haha, that does take me inside the Hughesian world of Marmaduke! Imagine him, a DOG, surfing! He HATES water! Hahaha!

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