Arthur the King: Lionsgate nabs Mark Wahlberg-led canine film from Paramount
According to Deadline, Lionsgate has acquired the rights to director Baltasar Kormakur and Mark Wahlberg’s next movie project titled Arthur the King, which will be based on Mikael Lindnord’s 2017 novel Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home. The studio will be handling the North American distribution rights for the film while Sierra/Affinity will oversee the international sales in the Cannes virtual market.
The canine adventure film was previously set up at Paramount Players and it is still unclear on why the studio has decided to let the project go, especially given their relationship with Wahlberg, who have worked together on numerous films such as The Fighter, Transformers: The Last Knight, Instant Family and Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming sci-fi action film Infinite.
Arthur the King will be based on the book written by Mikael Lindnord, captain of a Swedish adventure racing team, and follows him as he finds a wounded stray dog during a 400-mile race through the Ecuadoran jungle. After offering the dog some food before starting back again, the dog followed his team through some of the toughest terrains on the planet, with Lindnord deciding to adopt the dog and bringing him back to Sweden after.
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Fighter) is signed on to star as Lindnord while Kormakur will direct the script from Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma‘s Michael Brandt. The 48-year-old actor is also set to executive produce the film alongside Dorothy Canton, Brandt, and Lindnord, with Mark Canton, Tucker Tooley, Courtney Solomon, and Tessa Tooley producing the project.
This project will mark the third collaboration between Wahlberg and Kormakur, who previously worked together on the 2012 action thriller Contraband, an adaptation of an Icelandic thriller in which Kormakur starred, and the 2013 buddy action comedy pic 2 Guns, which also starred Denzel Washington (The Equalizer).