A Dog's Purpose

Universal Pictures has canceled this weekend’s premiere for A Dog’s Purpose, after controversy erupted around leaked footage from the film’s shooting, in which a clearly frightened German Shepherd was repeatedly forced into quickly moving water against its will. According to Variety, Universal reassured readers that the dog, Hercules, was unharmed, but said it was “in the best interest of A Dog’s Purpose to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket.”

Universal and Amblin Entertainment are both investigating the footage, which was originally posted by TMZ. Director Lasse Hallstrom and star Josh Gad both expressed dismay at the video, with Gad saying he was “shaken and sad” by what he saw. Although it’s canceled the premiere and press support for the film—which follows a dog’s soul as it reincarnates over multiple lifetimes—Universal is still planning to release the film nationwide in theaters as planned, on Friday, January 27.

Advertisement