Owen Wilson voicing Marmaduke: [Insert wacky dog pun here]

Marmaduke_lOwen Wilson has been cast to voice Marmaduke in Fox’s CGI/live-action movie adaptation of the comic, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (The dog doesn’t speak in the comic, but perhaps Wilson became an expert barker after working on Marley & Me and will just bow-wow his way through the film? One can hope….) THR says the film will see Marmaduke “navigate a volatile Mutts vs. Pedigrees turf war, woo the purebred of his dreams and overcome a fall from grace.” The star-studded cast also includes Judy Greer, Lee Pace, and William H. Macy as humans, and Fergie, Emma Stone, George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan, Damon Wayans, and Marlon Wayans, who all lend their voices to characters.

A family-friendly movie about a dog with a recognizable cast may attract a decent audience to theaters on a three-day weekend — how many Beethoven movies did they make? — but I wonder just how they’ll do an entire movie based on this 55-year-old single-panel comic.  The comic’s formula seems to be: Big dog + wacky shenanigans = modest smirk. Can that be stretched out to a feature film? Perhaps — especially if modest smirks is all it aims to achieve. I’m skeptical, though, of a project that gets its inspiration from Marmaduke (do you know anyone under age 70 who actually reads it?). Wilson may be the perfect choice to voice the giant, four-legged rascal, but Bill Murray also turned out to be an excellent Garfield, and that still couldn’t save that lifeless CGI/live-action movie (which somehow gave birth to a most unnecessary sequel).

Also, Owen, another dog movie? Marley & Me was fun, if a little trite, but another “fun” dog-centric movie sort of puts you in a box you might not want to be in. Branch out, voice a cat or a chimp or an animated race car, for pete’s sake.

Any PopWatchers stoked to see this one? What are some stars-voicing-animals movies that actually were successful? (I was pretty entranced by Michael J. Fox in Homeward Bound, back in the day.)

Photo Credit: Wilson: Chris Hatcher/PR Photos

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
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  • Michelle

    I don’t care about Owen Wilson. Lee Pace is in it, therefore I’m in. Dude needs all the work he can get! Yes, I’m still bitter about Pushing Daisies!

  • Heather

    Yeah I just want to see Lee Pace. I hope it’s a good movie and not like Garfield since that did Breckin no favors.

  • robert

    BARK = BARF

  • Stephanie T.

    I take it that no one learned anything from Garfield the movie? What next? Heathcliff? Jabberjaw? Whatever.

  • Stephanie T.

    BTW: I do not recall Marmaduke ever talking?

  • Yvette

    I confess–I’m definitely under 70, and yes–I read Marmaduke! (Stop judging me! Okay–you can start again…)

    But a movie about him? I’ll probably stick to the strip…

  • Mark Trail

    We can’t have this happening in Lost Forest.

  • Hork

    A Marmaduke movie? This may well be the worst idea in the long, storied history of Hollywood’s bad ideas.

  • Joel V

    Really Hollywood? Please stick to stealing your ideas from movies…

  • piques

    Now Calvin and Hobbs is a strip to make a film from. I would love to see that!

  • Anon

    You see, it’s funny, because he’s a big dog.

  • Jeff from Jersey; yes New Jersey

    Why not? Based on his performances. Mr Wilson and that Great Dane are a perfect fit.

  • cole9219

    How much more horrible could this idea get??? Did we learn nothing from Garfield???? Adapting comic strips into live action movies doesn’t work!!!

  • MrNiceGuy

    Owen Wilson has the acting talent and face custom made to do voiceovers.

  • fran

    Wow!! I LOVE Marmaduke. My favorite comic. I hope this one works and they don’t botch it up. Go Marm, GO!

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