‘Red Dog’ Prequel To Trace Origins Of Australia’s Favorite Kelpie [Video]

Red Dog: True Blue, the upcoming prequel to the Australian hit film Red Dog, throws light on the events that led to the discovery of the red kelpie on the road to Dampier and his eventual rise to become an Australian legend.

The newly released trailer for the movie gives a glimpse into the origins of the legendary Australian Kelpie. The movie plot revolves around Mick Miller, an 11-year-old boy who is sent to work on his grandfather’s cattle station in Australia’s Pilbara region, a life that is generally agreed to be one of dull hardship. However, after coming to the Pilbara, Mick befriends the one-of-a-kind kelpie who makes his life more exciting and adventure-filled than he ever thought it could be.

The 2011 Red Dog movie was based on Louis de Bernières’s short novel of the same name which, in turn, was loosely based on the true story of the real Red Dog who lived from 1971 to 1979. Born in Paraburdoo, the inquisitive Red Dog gained the reputation of being a wanderlust. And even though he had an owner to take care of him, the wandering dog was frequently seen roaming the countryside at will and hitching rides on the buses and trains that were meant to carry the mine workers. Red Dog was also seen traveling in iron ore trains, trailers, and trucks to wander around the Pilbara and beyond.

According to journalist Nancy Bates’ website, the energetic dog used to wander around the town to such an extent that he was known to gobble down an entire tin of dog food in just nine seconds.

Red Dog had made many friends amongst the mine workers employed in the Pilbara region. In fact, Red Dog’s vet fee was paid mainly by his miner friends. The red kelpie was especially fond of John Stazzonelli, the bus driver, and Ron, the mine worker who made him a member of a sports club. Red Dog, who was a vagabond at heart, died in Karratha in 1979 due to food poisoning.

The original Red Dog film, which was directed by Kriv Stenders, exceeded expectations at the box office by raking $21 million and becoming one of the highest-earning Australian movies of all time. Inside Film reports that Seph McKenna, Roadshow’s Production Head, was surprised by the success of the film as the short novel by Louis de Bernières didn’t seem big enough to inspire a box-office hit.

The movie also became one of the highest-selling DVD releases. According to SBS TV, Red Dog: True Blue, the upcoming prequel, was shot in the Pilbara region in 2015 and will bring together veterans actors like Bryan Brown, Jason Isaacs, and John Jarratt, along with newcomer Levi Miller who plays the role of the 11-year-old Mick Miller.

Bryan Brown will play Miller’s grandfather while actor John Jarratt will play the role of Lang Hancock, the mining baron. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Koko, the kelpie who played Red Dog in 2011, will not be featured in the prequel as the dog died due to heart disease in 2012.

Instead, the role will be played by a cute pup named Phoenix. According to Nelson Woss, the film’s producer, the prequel will transition from a film shot in pastoral locations to a film that is shot in the backdrop of mining areas. Red Dog’s director, Kriv Stenders, has mentioned that the upcoming prequel will be like a standalone movie that can be enjoyed by all types of audiences and even by those who haven’t seen the original 2011 Red Dog movie.

Additionally, the prequel, which is leaner and simpler than the original film, was shot in just eight weeks and had the same budget as the 2011 movie.

Audiences will find the movie to be a classic film which has a child in the lead role. Red Dog: True Blue tells the story of how a kelpie pup adds excitement to a boy’s otherwise dull life amongst the cattle station workers and local indigenous boys. And above all, audiences will be watching out for the exciting chemistry between the boy and the legendary Red Dog.

[Image via Roadshow Films]