With our nation’s supply of cute animals being 95-percent computer-generated, today’s kids simply don’t appreciate the analog wonders of an actual dog, one that neither boasts the voice of George Lopez nor has access to a jetpack. They’re in for a rude awakening with the return of Benji, the loveable Zelig-like mutt vigilante with an uncanny knack for turning up in the middle of dramatic vignettes and helping people cope with their problems and/or foil kidnappers and secret agents. The original Benji—played initially by a dog named Higgins, who died not long after the 1974 film; you’re welcome!—spawned several official sequels, as well as the 1980 comedy Oh! Heavenly Dog, where Benji housed the soul of a reincarnated private eye played by Chevy Chase.
Now Warren Camp, son of the series’ creator and director Joe Camp, is hoping to reboot his father’s franchise, and is currently prepping a nationwide hunt for the next dog to play him. ("My fantasy is to find a stray," Camp says, which sounds pervier than it should.) And if that sounds familiar, it’s because it is, in part, the plot of 2004’s Benji: Off The Leash!, a somewhat postmodern take on the franchise about the makers of the Benji films mounting a Benji reboot, within the actual Benji reboot. Needless to say, it will blow your fucking mind. This new Benji, however, we don’t know. Camp says it will "stick closely to the 'true emotional journey that Benji went on.'" Will he at least have sunglasses?