Jonathan Majors In Talks To Play Black Panther Party Co-Founder Bobby Seale In Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Trial Of The Chicago 7’

EXCLUSIVE: Coming off excellent reviews in Studio 8/Sony’s White Boy Rick, Jonathan Majors is in talks to portray Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in Aaron Sorkin’s Amblin Entertainment feature The Trial of the Chicag…

EXCLUSIVE: Coming off excellent reviews in Studio 8/Sony’s White Boy Rick, Jonathan Majors is in talks to portray Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in Aaron Sorkin’s Amblin Entertainment feature The Trial of the Chicago 7 Sorkin’s Chicago 7, which the Oscar winner is writing and directing, follows the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the counterculture protests in…

Eddie Redmayne in Early Talks to Star in Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’

“Fantastic Beasts” star and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is in early talks to star in Amblin Entertainment’s drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Redmayne is in early talks to portray activist Tom Hayden in the political drama directed by Aaron Sorkin based on his own screenplay. Sacha Baron Cohen is also in talks to star.

“Chicago 7,” which is based on Brett Morgen’s documentary “Chicago 10,” follows the true story of anti-Vietnam protestors rioting against police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the subsequent federal conspiracy trial that transfixed the nation in 1969.

Also Read: Sacha Baron Cohen in Talks to Star in ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ Aaron Sorkin Set to Direct

Hayden, who died in 2016, was an author and politician who authored the Port Huron Statement in 1962 and stood trial in the Chicago 7 case after playing a major role in the protests and demonstrations outside the Democratic National Convention.

Steven Spielberg had previously eyed to direct the political drama, which has long been gestating at his Universal Studios-based production company. But with an A-list cast now being attracted and Sorkin coming aboard to direct last week, making his follow-up to 2017’s “Molly’s Game,” the project seems to be moving forward strongly.

Paul Greengrass was also attached to “Chicago 7” as far back as 2013, but he ultimately recused himself from the project over disagreements on the film’s budget.

Also Read: Eddie Redmayne Speaks at Stephen Hawking’s Funeral

Redmayne will next be seen in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and recently wrapped filming as scientist James Glaisher in the biographic film at Amazon Studios, “The Aeronauts.”

Redmayne is repped by CAA, United Agents, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Variety was first to report.

“Fantastic Beasts” star and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is in early talks to star in Amblin Entertainment’s drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Redmayne is in early talks to portray activist Tom Hayden in the political drama directed by Aaron Sorkin based on his own screenplay. Sacha Baron Cohen is also in talks to star.

“Chicago 7,” which is based on Brett Morgen’s documentary “Chicago 10,” follows the true story of anti-Vietnam protestors rioting against police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the subsequent federal conspiracy trial that transfixed the nation in 1969.

Hayden, who died in 2016, was an author and politician who authored the Port Huron Statement in 1962 and stood trial in the Chicago 7 case after playing a major role in the protests and demonstrations outside the Democratic National Convention.

Steven Spielberg had previously eyed to direct the political drama, which has long been gestating at his Universal Studios-based production company. But with an A-list cast now being attracted and Sorkin coming aboard to direct last week, making his follow-up to 2017’s “Molly’s Game,” the project seems to be moving forward strongly.

Paul Greengrass was also attached to “Chicago 7” as far back as 2013, but he ultimately recused himself from the project over disagreements on the film’s budget.

Redmayne will next be seen in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and recently wrapped filming as scientist James Glaisher in the biographic film at Amazon Studios, “The Aeronauts.”

Redmayne is repped by CAA, United Agents, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Variety was first to report.

Sacha Baron Cohen in Talks to Star in ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,’ Aaron Sorkin Set to Direct

Aaron Sorkin is on board to direct and Sacha Baron Cohen is in early talks to star in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” at Amblin Entertainment, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Steven Spielberg had previously eyed to direct the political drama, which has long been gestating at his Universal Studios-based production company. But with Sorkin directing his own screenplay that he wrote over a decade ago, the project looks to be moving closer to a reality.

Marc Platt is producing.

Also Read: All 8 Aaron Sorkin Movies Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos)

The film follows the true story about anti-Vietnam protestors rioting against police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the subsequent federal conspiracy trial in 1969.

Paul Greengrass was attached to “Chicago 7” as far back as 2013, but he ultimately recused himself from the project over disagreements on the film’s budget.

Amblin has likewise sought out an A-list cast for the film, with Baron Cohen flirting with the project in the past to play activist Abbie Hoffman, though there’s no word on who Baron Cohen will be playing now. Ben Stiller and Will Smith have also been eyed for the film in the past.

Also Read: Roy Moore Sues Sacha Baron Cohen for $95 Million Over ‘Who Is America?’ Prank

This is Sorkin’s follow-up to his directorial debut, 2017’s “Molly’s Game” starring Jessica Chastain, for which he also wrote the screenplay.

Baron Cohen’s return to television, “This Is America” on Showtime, recently wrapped its first season. He last starred in the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass” in 2016.

Both Sorkin and Baron Cohen are repped by CAA.

Variety was first to report this news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘West Wing’ Star Joshua Malina Teases Reboot After Cast Reunion With Aaron Sorkin

Harper Lee’s Estate Sues Over Aaron Sorkin’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Adaptation

‘Molly’s Game’ Director Aaron Sorkin on How Harvey Weinstein Made Film ‘Surprisingly Relevant’

Aaron Sorkin is on board to direct and Sacha Baron Cohen is in early talks to star in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” at Amblin Entertainment, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Steven Spielberg had previously eyed to direct the political drama, which has long been gestating at his Universal Studios-based production company. But with Sorkin directing his own screenplay that he wrote over a decade ago, the project looks to be moving closer to a reality.

Marc Platt is producing.

The film follows the true story about anti-Vietnam protestors rioting against police at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the subsequent federal conspiracy trial in 1969.

Paul Greengrass was attached to “Chicago 7” as far back as 2013, but he ultimately recused himself from the project over disagreements on the film’s budget.

Amblin has likewise sought out an A-list cast for the film, with Baron Cohen flirting with the project in the past to play activist Abbie Hoffman, though there’s no word on who Baron Cohen will be playing now. Ben Stiller and Will Smith have also been eyed for the film in the past.

This is Sorkin’s follow-up to his directorial debut, 2017’s “Molly’s Game” starring Jessica Chastain, for which he also wrote the screenplay.

Baron Cohen’s return to television, “This Is America” on Showtime, recently wrapped its first season. He last starred in the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass” in 2016.

Both Sorkin and Baron Cohen are repped by CAA.

Variety was first to report this news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'West Wing' Star Joshua Malina Teases Reboot After Cast Reunion With Aaron Sorkin

Harper Lee's Estate Sues Over Aaron Sorkin's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Adaptation

'Molly's Game' Director Aaron Sorkin on How Harvey Weinstein Made Film 'Surprisingly Relevant'

Amblin Brings On ‘Liberty Road’ Scribes Widener & James For Adaptation Of Michael Crichton’s Last Novel ‘Micro’

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin has hired Liberty Road and Battle Of Alcatraz scribes Neil Widener and Gavin James to take over screenplay duties on Micro, the movie adaptation of the final novel by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton.
High-concept thriller novel …

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin has hired Liberty Road and Battle Of Alcatraz scribes Neil Widener and Gavin James to take over screenplay duties on Micro, the movie adaptation of the final novel by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton. High-concept thriller novel Micro follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company — only to find themselves miniaturized and cast out into the rainforest, with nothing but their scientific expertise and…

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Thrashes Past $1B At Worldwide Box Office

The dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom have stomped across the $1 billion mark worldwide, making it the seventh film to achieve the milestone for Universal. The breakdown on the Universal/Amblin Entertainment sequel is $304.8M domestic and $70…

The dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom have stomped across the $1 billion mark worldwide, making it the seventh film to achieve the milestone for Universal. The breakdown on the Universal/Amblin Entertainment sequel is $304.8M domestic and $700.7M at the international box office through Thursday. The global tally is $1,005.5M with Japan still to come. The JA Bayona-directed entry to the classic franchise bowed overseas ahead of domestic in a staggered rollout…

‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’ Trailer: Jack Black & Co Face Off Against Time

“We don’t know what it does except something horrible,” warns Jack Black’s Jonathan Barnavelt as the group works to destroy the hidden clock in the newly released trailer from the Eli Roth-directed film,The House with a Clock in…

“We don’t know what it does except something horrible,” warns Jack Black’s Jonathan Barnavelt as the group works to destroy the hidden clock in the newly released trailer from the Eli Roth-directed film,The House with a Clock in Its Walls. “Three gongs. Last time it for four. What happens when it gets down to one?” Jonathan ponders. “Nothing good that’s for certain,” says Mrs. Zimmerman, a witch and Jonathan’s neighbor, played by Cate Blanchett. From Universal Pictures…

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Devouring $125M In China; Franchise Will Stomp Across $4B WW This Frame

SATURDAY UPDATE: After its Friday debut in the Middle Kingdom, Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now looking at an estimated $125.3M (RMB 815M) 3-day China bow and a full second session of $184.7M at the intern…

SATURDAY UPDATE: After its Friday debut in the Middle Kingdom, Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now looking at an estimated $125.3M (RMB 815M) 3-day China bow and a full second session of $184.7M at the international box office. That will take the offshore cume to $381M through Sunday, and also push the franchise across $4B worldwide. The Jurassic series of dino adventures, which began with Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park in…

Steven Spielberg Crushes Carl’s Jr. ‘Spielburgers’ Plan

Steven Spielberg might be a fan of Carl’s Jr. burgers, but he doesn’t want his name attached to them. The fast food giant announced on Twitter Monday that it planned to rename their Charbroiled Sliders to “Spielburgers” as a tribute to the director and his virtual reality-infused movie “Ready Player One” set to hit theaters […]

Steven Spielberg might be a fan of Carl’s Jr. burgers, but he doesn’t want his name attached to them. The fast food giant announced on Twitter Monday that it planned to rename their Charbroiled Sliders to “Spielburgers” as a tribute to the director and his virtual reality-infused movie “Ready Player One” set to hit theaters […]

Amblin Entertainment Acquires Tom Hanks Sci-Fi Package ‘Bios’

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Entertainment has acquired the spec package Bios with Tom Hanks starring and Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones) directing. The project would be distributed through Universal.
Writers are Craig Luck and Ivor Powell. The story is about a robot on an a post-apocalyptic Earth who was programmed to protect his creator’s dog. Through that, the robot learns about love, friendship and the meaning of life. Producing will be ImageMovers Jack Rapke and Jackie…

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Entertainment has acquired the spec package Bios with Tom Hanks starring and Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones) directing. The project would be distributed through Universal. Writers are Craig Luck and Ivor Powell. The story is about a robot on an a post-apocalyptic Earth who was programmed to protect his creator’s dog. Through that, the robot learns about love, friendship and the meaning of life. Producing will be ImageMovers Jack Rapke and Jackie…

‘Animaniacs’: The 12 Characters Who Need to Return to the Revival, Ranked

Pinky and the Brain, obviously. But who else should make the cut, 20 years later?

Animaniacs” may be coming back, but it’s been nearly 20 years since it’s been on the air – so some changes and updates will have to be made. The cartoon included vignettes featuring a range of characters, some more popular or successful than others, and it’s unclear who might return.

The Goodfeathers? That reference is so dated! The Nurse? So sexist! Mindy and Buttons? She’s so annoying! Ditto for Katie Kaboom.

READ MORE: ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot Being Developed by Steven Spielberg, Amblin TV and Warner Bros. — Exclusive

The “Animaniacs” reboot won’t happen right away. Although Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation are eyeing a remake with Steven Spielberg’s involvement, it’s still in the early stages of development, and animation takes time to produce.

It doesn’t hurt to speculate who might be back, however. Now that the original series is streaming on Netflix, it’s easy to watch the series now with an eye for an update. Check out some of the essential characters (plus a few others thrown in for fun) the show needs to bring back for the revamp:

12. Death

Death is timeless, as are the references to Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal.” This is the ultimate antagonist, and we’d be curious to see how the Warners outwit him… maybe by playing Candy Crush?

10-11. Rita and Runt

While the singing cat and her dog pal weren’t featured much, mainly because Bernadette Peters wasn’t available that often, bringing this duo into the 21st Century could have promise. There simply weren’t many interesting female characters on the show besides Dot, and having a comedy duo with one as the singer could open the door to some interesting recording artists or Broadway stars. Musicals are hot on TV again, right?

9. Chicken Boo

The epitome of absurdist humor, the premise was simple: A giant chicken who wanted to be a human would masquerade as a person with the flimsiest of disguises. While most people were fooled, one naysayer always pointed out that Chicken Boo was, well, “A giant chicken, I tell ya!” The jig would be up as soon as the disguise fell off, and Chicken Boo would be run out of town to try his masquerade elsewhere. Beyond the utter ridiculousness of the premise, a Chicken Boo sketch always meant some really choice puns, such as the names “Boo-Ryshnikov” or “Davy Omelet.” What’s not to love?

7 -8. Slappy and Skippy Squirrel

Granted, Slappy Squirrel was a really annoying and grumpy character, but she and her chipper nephew Skippy could be the key to bridging Gens X and Y, who originally watched “Animaniacs,” and Gen Z. Slappy had been an old-school comedian, so that will have to be updated a little bit, but the generation divide should appeal to the curmudgeons in many of us, as long as it’s done with love and not condescension, such as with “The Great Indoors.” Besides, the occasional vaudeville reference could play well.

READ MORE: The 50 Best Animated TV Series of the 21st Century

6. Dr. Otto Scratchansniff

The dynamic between the studio psychiatrist and the Warners is the heart of the show, with Dr. ScratchNSniff initially getting stressed out by their nonsensical antics. He eventually becomes a bit more avuncular though, and the new series could involve him more in their adventures in a guidance capacity.

4-5. Pinky and the Brain

The beauty of the megalomaniacal lab rat Brain, who looks and sounds like Orson Welles, is that he and his dim sidekick Pinky (Zoit! Narf!) are already primed for political commentary and have done so before. There’s no denying that politics has become more of a circus since the show’s original run. Brain’s schemes to take over the world won’t seem all that far-fetched anymore, and it would be entertaining to see him operate in a modern context.

1-3. Yakko, Wakko and Dot

We’ve really missed these guys, whatever they are, and we can’t foresee any real updates needed for them (although the Warner Bros. water tower currently has Supergirl on it). We just want more of the same: their catchy and instructional songs, Yakko’s pranks, Wakko sounding like Ringo Starr, and Dot upending perceptions of her cuteness.

Which other characters would you like to see return?

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Rev. Run Family Comedy Gets Pilot Presentation Order From ABC Studios

ABC passed on picking up the project to pilot but the producers and studio believe in the script and are taking a page from ‘Cristela’s’ playbook.read more


ABC passed on picking up the project to pilot but the producers and studio believe in the script and are taking a page from 'Cristela's' playbook.

read more

‘A Dog’s Purpose’: PETA Protests At Multiple U.S. Theaters On Opening Night

More than 50 protesters demonstrated tonight outside the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to air their grievances over the family film A Dog’s Purpose. Carrying signs that read, “A Dog’s Purpose Isn’t to Be a Prop” and “For Dog’s Sake Don’t See A Dog’s Purpose,” they were citing charges that a German shepherd named Hercules was subjected to “cruel and inhumane treatment” on the film’s set when the Amblin/Walden Media/Universal movie shot in Winnipeg in the fall.
The protest…

More than 50 protesters demonstrated tonight outside the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood to air their grievances over the family film A Dog’s Purpose. Carrying signs that read, “A Dog’s Purpose Isn’t to Be a Prop” and “For Dog’s Sake Don’t See A Dog’s Purpose,” they were citing charges that a German shepherd named Hercules was subjected to “cruel and inhumane treatment” on the film’s set when the Amblin/Walden Media/Universal movie shot in Winnipeg in the fall. The protest…

PETA To Protest ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ At Theaters Across The Nation

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said supporters across the nation will will engage “in lively protests” in front of theaters on opening night (Friday) against the Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures movie A Dog’s Purpose due to a  behind-the-scenes video of a terrified dog who was forced into churning water on the set of the film during its Winnepeg shoot in October.

Demonstrations will take place in Los Angeles, New York City; Washington, D.C.…

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said supporters across the nation will will engage “in lively protests” in front of theaters on opening night (Friday) against the Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures movie A Dog’s Purpose due to a  behind-the-scenes video of a terrified dog who was forced into churning water on the set of the film during its Winnepeg shoot in October. Demonstrations will take place in Los Angeles, New York City; Washington, D.C.…

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Dog Supplier, Handler Birds & Animals Unlimited Issue Statement As Tracking For Film Stalls

Birds & Animals Unlimited which has come under attack by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and was hired by Amblin Entertainment on the set of A Dog’s Purpose came out with its own statement today. That comes as Deadline hears that the tracking for the film which will be released this weekend “has started to stall.” PETA called for a boycott of the film after TMZ released a videotape of a man forcing a German Shepard into the water and another clip…

Birds & Animals Unlimited which has come under attack by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and was hired by Amblin Entertainment on the set of A Dog’s Purpose came out with its own statement today. That comes as Deadline hears that the tracking for the film which will be released this weekend “has started to stall.” PETA called for a boycott of the film after TMZ released a videotape of a man forcing a German Shepard into the water and another clip…

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Producer & Author After Seeing Full Tape: Dog Was Not In Danger

A Dog’s Purpose producer Gavin Polone said he’s had a change of heart after seeing the full video of a distressed German Shepherd on set. He says the dog was not in danger and believes agendas are being carried out for different purposes — that whomever cut the video and made it appear the dog was in danger and “probably sold it for money” to fulfill’s PETA’s stated agenda of ensuring no animal is ever used on a TV or movie set again. Also, producer Amblin Entertainment

A Dog’s Purpose producer Gavin Polone said he’s had a change of heart after seeing the full video of a distressed German Shepherd on set. He says the dog was not in danger and believes agendas are being carried out for different purposes — that whomever cut the video and made it appear the dog was in danger and “probably sold it for money” to fulfill’s PETA’s stated agenda of ensuring no animal is ever used on a TV or movie set again. Also, producer Amblin Entertainment

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Premiere Cancelled Amid Disturbing Video Controversy

Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have decided to cancel this Saturday’s premiere of “A Dog’s Purpose” after a disturbing video emerged on Wednesday, showing a dog being forced into a raging torrent of water on the film’s set. Universal released a statement saying Amblin’s review into the edited video “is still ongoing” and they have… Read more »

Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have decided to cancel this Saturday’s premiere of “A Dog’s Purpose” after a disturbing video emerged on Wednesday, showing a dog being forced into a raging torrent of water on the film’s set. Universal released a statement saying Amblin’s review into the edited video “is still ongoing” and they have... Read more »

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Weekend Premiere And Press Junket Cancelled Amid Video Controversy

Due to the swirling controversy over the now viral video of a German Shepard being forced into the water and later slipping under the water as a handler scrambles to save it on the set of A Dog’s Purpose, Universal has cancelled both the press junket and Monday’s scheduled premiere of the film. A Dog’s Purpose, based on the best-selling book of the same name, goes wide into theaters on Jan. 27th. The move to keep the press at bay comes as those involved with the film have…

Due to the swirling controversy over the now viral video of a German Shepard being forced into the water and later slipping under the water as a handler scrambles to save it on the set of A Dog’s Purpose, Universal has cancelled both the press junket and Monday’s scheduled premiere of the film. A Dog’s Purpose, based on the best-selling book of the same name, goes wide into theaters on Jan. 27th. The move to keep the press at bay comes as those involved with the film have…

Hollywood Animal Trainer on What ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Did Wrong

Veteran Hollywood animal trainer Bill Berloni said it was “gut-wrenching” to watch the leaked footage from the set of “A Dog’s Purpose” showing a German shepherd named Hercules being forced into turbulent water — and that the trainers didn’t act properly to get the shot.

“If an animal isn’t willing to perform, you have to stop there … for whatever reason,” Berloni told TheWrap.

That’s not what appeared to happen on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose,” which prompted an insider to expose the footage and PETA to call for a boycott of the Amblin Entertainment feature, which Universal plans to release on January 27.

Also Read: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’: Watch the Video That Outraged PETA

So what is the right way to film that scene? According to Berloni, whose animal training credits include “The Wiz Live” and “Billions,” everything in the dog-training game is about positive reinforcement, repetition and making it fun for the dog. Oh, and you have to have the right animal.

“What I would do is have a swimming double dog, who loves jumping into crazy water,” he said. “Not knowing the situation, [Hercules] might have been that dog. But what I want to have is a dog that I’m holding back [from jumping in].”

“If that dog in that moment isn’t telling me, ‘I want to go in,’ then it’s like, ‘OK, guys, I don’t think we shoot this today.’”

Also Read: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Bitten by IMDb Users: 94 Percent Give Movie 1 Out of 10

That takes guts because it costs the production money. In addition, Berloni noted that the trainer tends to be the lone advocate for an animal’s interests on most Hollywood sets.

Still, safety and comfort is an animal handler’s No. 1 concern, and that’s not what Berloni saw out of Gary Gero’s Birds & Animals Unlimited, the provider of Hercules and Hollywood’s go-to for all sorts of animal actors.

(Birds & Animals Unlimited did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. In a statement, Amblin said, “While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, ‪Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.”)

Also Read: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Star Josh Gad Is ‘Shaken and Sad’ Over ‘Disturbing’ Dog Video

It’s important to prepare animals for scenes that might frighten them or put them in danger. “No animals walk into my life and say, ‘Hey, I want to be put in stressful situations,” Berloni explained. “And so I believe if we’re going to use animals we have a moral obligation to keep them safe.”

“Replace that dog with a child,” he continued. “Would we have done that with a child? Would we have struggled that much to push a child in? No. And everybody ethically would have backed us on it.”

Also Read: Twitter Barks at ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Over Upsetting German Shepherd Footage

And if Hercules isn’t much of a water dog — German shepherd’s probably aren’t the best breed for such a scene, Berloni said — the production could have looked for more-willing participants.

“Go to Long Island Sound — you see them jumping in the water all the time,” he suggested. “That’s what you would double that dog with.”

Beyond being heart-broken over the footage, Berloni is also just plain bummed. He said he had been looking forward to seeing “A Dog’s Purpose” in theaters next Friday, but now he’s among planning to boycott the film.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Producers Say German Shepherd Was Not Forced to Complete Scene (Report)

PETA Urges ‘Dog’s Purpose’ Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

Hollywood’s Dog TV Show Explosion: Inside the $60 Billion Canine Industry

‘The Wiz Live’: Toto’s Trainer Reveals How Canine Actors Steal the Show

‘Puppies vs Gravity’ Is Cutest Thing You’ll See Today (Exclusive Video)

Veteran Hollywood animal trainer Bill Berloni said it was “gut-wrenching” to watch the leaked footage from the set of “A Dog’s Purpose” showing a German shepherd named Hercules being forced into turbulent water — and that the trainers didn’t act properly to get the shot.

“If an animal isn’t willing to perform, you have to stop there … for whatever reason,” Berloni told TheWrap.

That’s not what appeared to happen on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose,” which prompted an insider to expose the footage and PETA to call for a boycott of the Amblin Entertainment feature, which Universal plans to release on January 27.

So what is the right way to film that scene? According to Berloni, whose animal training credits include “The Wiz Live” and “Billions,” everything in the dog-training game is about positive reinforcement, repetition and making it fun for the dog. Oh, and you have to have the right animal.

“What I would do is have a swimming double dog, who loves jumping into crazy water,” he said. “Not knowing the situation, [Hercules] might have been that dog. But what I want to have is a dog that I’m holding back [from jumping in].”

“If that dog in that moment isn’t telling me, ‘I want to go in,’ then it’s like, ‘OK, guys, I don’t think we shoot this today.'”

That takes guts because it costs the production money. In addition, Berloni noted that the trainer tends to be the lone advocate for an animal’s interests on most Hollywood sets.

Still, safety and comfort is an animal handler’s No. 1 concern, and that’s not what Berloni saw out of Gary Gero’s Birds & Animals Unlimited, the provider of Hercules and Hollywood’s go-to for all sorts of animal actors.

(Birds & Animals Unlimited did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. In a statement, Amblin said, “While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, ‪Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.”)

It’s important to prepare animals for scenes that might frighten them or put them in danger. “No animals walk into my life and say, ‘Hey, I want to be put in stressful situations,” Berloni explained. “And so I believe if we’re going to use animals we have a moral obligation to keep them safe.”

“Replace that dog with a child,” he continued. “Would we have done that with a child? Would we have struggled that much to push a child in? No. And everybody ethically would have backed us on it.”

And if Hercules isn’t much of a water dog — German shepherd’s probably aren’t the best breed for such a scene, Berloni said — the production could have looked for more-willing participants.

“Go to Long Island Sound — you see them jumping in the water all the time,” he suggested. “That’s what you would double that dog with.”

Beyond being heart-broken over the footage, Berloni is also just plain bummed. He said he had been looking forward to seeing “A Dog’s Purpose” in theaters next Friday, but now he’s among planning to boycott the film.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'A Dog's Purpose' Producers Say German Shepherd Was Not Forced to Complete Scene (Report)

PETA Urges 'Dog's Purpose' Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

Hollywood's Dog TV Show Explosion: Inside the $60 Billion Canine Industry

'The Wiz Live': Toto's Trainer Reveals How Canine Actors Steal the Show

'Puppies vs Gravity' Is Cutest Thing You'll See Today (Exclusive Video)

Twitter Barks at ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Over Upsetting German Shepherd Footage

PETA isn’t the only one boycotting upcoming movie “A Dog’s Purpose” over leaked footage that has lead to allegations of animal abuse.

Twitter is growling, barking, biting (and whatever other canine pun you can come up with) over the video, which was obtained by TMZ. In the footage, a trainer lowers what appears to be a frightened German Shepherd towards a pool of rough water.

Amblin Entertainment, the producers of “A Dog’s Purpose,” provided TheWrap with the following statement:
“A Dog’s Purpose,” produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.

While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, ‪Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.

Hercules is happy and healthy.”

Also Read: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Star Josh Gad Is ‘Shaken and Sad’ Over ‘Disturbing’ Dog Video

Not everyone on social media is comforted by those six sentences, however. Here are some of the stronger reactions:

Animal abuse is not a dog’s purpose. #BoycottADogsPurpose

— Rachel Singleton (@xrachaelray) January 19, 2017

Me two hours ago: omg so excited to see A Dog’s Purpose I’m gonna cry lol

Me now: pic.twitter.com/dk1LpkJH7d

— Alexis (@alexisclairefit) January 19, 2017

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HARM A DOG WHEN MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT TEACHING US TO APPRECIATE DOGS? HOW? #boycottadogspurpose #ADogsPurpose

— i (@joseqhmorgan) January 19, 2017

Also Read: ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Producers Say German Shepherd Was Not Forced to Complete Scene (Report)

I rated A Dog’s Purpose (2017) 1/10 #IMDb https://t.co/sDHHjhMjeQ

— ㅤ (@angelswillcry) January 19, 2017

I will never EVER watch A Dog’s Purpose
“Because of the allleged animal abuse?”
Um yeah sure

— Sammy Dankest Jr (@No_Homers_Club) January 19, 2017

#ADogsPurpose is not to drown a dog for a good shot. There is CGI for a reason. #BoycottADogsPurpose

— Cristi Brewer (@CristiBOfficial) January 18, 2017

Also Read: PETA Urges ‘Dog’s Purpose’ Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

Was looking forward to seeing “A Dog’s Purpose” but won’t stand for any kind of animal abuse just to make a movie.

— Mike Reda (@themikereda) January 19, 2017

I really wanted to see #ADogsPurpose and then you find out they mistreated the dogs on set. “Just throw him in!” Why don’t I throw you in ????????

— erica (@careless_seoul) January 18, 2017

None of you were watching #ADogsPurpose anyways

— jal (@alanis_jal) January 19, 2017

That footage of the animal trainer forcing the dog into rushing water on the set of #ADogsPurpose just made me cry. What a piece of trash.

— DANiE[lle] (@msdanie) January 19, 2017

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Puppy Bowl 2017: Meet the Adorable Starting Lineup (Photos)

PETA isn’t the only one boycotting upcoming movie “A Dog’s Purpose” over leaked footage that has lead to allegations of animal abuse.

Twitter is growling, barking, biting (and whatever other canine pun you can come up with) over the video, which was obtained by TMZ. In the footage, a trainer lowers what appears to be a frightened German Shepherd towards a pool of rough water.

Amblin Entertainment, the producers of “A Dog’s Purpose,” provided TheWrap with the following statement:
“A Dog’s Purpose,” produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.

While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, ‪Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.

Hercules is happy and healthy.”

Not everyone on social media is comforted by those six sentences, however. Here are some of the stronger reactions:

Related stories from TheWrap:

Martin Shkreli: Reports He Was Hit in the Face With Dog Poop Are 'Fake News'

Presidential Dog Bite: Sunny Injures a White House Guest

Allison Tolman Explains Her Twisted Route From 'Fargo' to 'Downward Dog'

Carrie Fisher's Dog Gary Finds a New Home

Puppy Bowl 2017: Meet the Adorable Starting Lineup (Photos)

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Producers Say German Shepherd Was Not Forced to Complete Scene (Report)

Amblin Entertainment defended its production tactics in the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose” after a video obtained by TMZ showed a trainer apparently pushing a struggling dog named Hercules into a pool of water.

Howver, the production company told TMZ that despite appearances, no coercion was used, and the dog did not do anything against his will. Amblin said the dog had rehearsed the water scenes for several days, but when it was time to shoot for real, he evidently got cold paws.

“On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot,” an Amblin spokesperson told TMZ.

Also Read: PETA Urges ‘Dog’s Purpose’ Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

After a break in shooting, Amblin said Hercules was totally fine with completing the stunt and was not forced into the water.

The video, shot in November 2015 and published earlier Wednesday by TMZ, shows a trainer forcing Hercules, a German Shepherd, into a pool that had been fitted with motors to simulate a whitewater river. The dog clawed at the edge of the pool before being finally pushed underwater. Hercules then appeared to struggled to stay afloat until a voice yelled “cut” and handlers removed him from the pool.

PETA quickly responded, with senior vice president Lisa Lange issuing a statement Wednesday saying, “PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props.”

The film’s director, Lasse Hallström, posted a statement on Facebook expressing his displeasure with the video.
“I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film ‘A Dog’s Purpose,’” he wrote. “I did not witness these actions, which are unacceptable and would never happen with my knowledge. We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.”
Related stories from TheWrap:

PETA Urges ‘Dog’s Purpose’ Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

Presidential Dog Bite: Sunny Injures a White House Guest

Allison Tolman Explains Her Twisted Route From ‘Fargo’ to ‘Downward Dog’

Amblin Entertainment defended its production tactics in the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose” after a video obtained by TMZ showed a trainer apparently pushing a struggling dog named Hercules into a pool of water.

Howver, the production company told TMZ that despite appearances, no coercion was used, and the dog did not do anything against his will. Amblin said the dog had rehearsed the water scenes for several days, but when it was time to shoot for real, he evidently got cold paws.

“On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot,” an Amblin spokesperson told TMZ.

After a break in shooting, Amblin said Hercules was totally fine with completing the stunt and was not forced into the water.

The video, shot in November 2015 and published earlier Wednesday by TMZ, shows a trainer forcing Hercules, a German Shepherd, into a pool that had been fitted with motors to simulate a whitewater river. The dog clawed at the edge of the pool before being finally pushed underwater. Hercules then appeared to struggled to stay afloat until a voice yelled “cut” and handlers removed him from the pool.

PETA quickly responded, with senior vice president Lisa Lange issuing a statement Wednesday saying, “PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props.”

The film’s director, Lasse Hallström, posted a statement on Facebook expressing his displeasure with the video.
“I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film ‘A Dog’s Purpose,'” he wrote. “I did not witness these actions, which are unacceptable and would never happen with my knowledge. We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.”
Related stories from TheWrap:

PETA Urges 'Dog's Purpose' Boycott, Says Pooch Was Terrorized

Presidential Dog Bite: Sunny Injures a White House Guest

Allison Tolman Explains Her Twisted Route From 'Fargo' to 'Downward Dog'

Kate McKinnon to Star in Amblin’s ‘The Lunch Witch’

Kate McKinnon is set to star in Amblin’s “The Lunch Witch,” sources confirmed to Variety. Clay Kaytis is on board to direct. Based on the book by Deb Lucke, the story follows Grunhilda, who has inherited generations worth of magical recipes. But when no one believes in magic anymore, she is forced to apply to… Read more »

Kate McKinnon is set to star in Amblin’s “The Lunch Witch,” sources confirmed to Variety. Clay Kaytis is on board to direct. Based on the book by Deb Lucke, the story follows Grunhilda, who has inherited generations worth of magical recipes. But when no one believes in magic anymore, she is forced to apply to... Read more »