Walt Disney Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment are putting the final touches on a deal to bring the classic TV cartoon Underdog to the big screen as a live-action feature, reports Variety.
The trade says Disney has high hopes for the property as a possible franchise for its Walt Disney Pictures label. Producers are aiming to start preparing in November for shoot starting in January in Canada, possibly in Vancouver.
The tongue-in-cheek Underdog series, created by Buck Biggers and Chet Stover, made its debut in 1964 on NBC and ran until 1973. The character was an unlikely superhero: a beagle who sheds his milquetoast identity of Shoeshine Boy to become a caped superdog who speaks in rhymed couplets. Wally Cox provided his voice.
In the feature script, by Joe Piscatella and Craig A. Williams, a diminutive hound named Shoeshine gets superpowers after a lab accident. When he’s adopted by a 12-year-old boy, the two form a bond around the shared knowledge that Shoeshine is really Underdog.
The characters of mad scientist Simon Barsinister and Underdog’s love interest, Sweet Polly Purebred, are expected to be included in the movie. A real dog will be used for the title character, and CGI enhancements will be added.