The Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world considering we are almost a year-and-a-half since things really began back in March of 2020 in the United States. And issues around the virus are still causing problems with movie release schedules and how studios want to plan which films will hit theaters and when. The Hollywood Reporter has it that another victim in this era of uncertainty is Clifford the Big Red Dog which just had its planned September release scrapped because of concerns over theater attendance.
Originally, Clifford the Big Red Dog had a studio release date of September 17th, but that has now been taken down and there is no timetable for when we will actually see it in theaters. Paramount, which has handled the production, cited a rise in cases in the United States and concerns over the spread of the Delta variant as reasons why they don’t feel comfortable keeping it along its intended timeline.
For Clifford the Big Red Dog, this latest delay marks just another issue for a movie that is now trending dangerously close to development hell considering its protracted timeline around the release. The film was originally shot all the way back in 2019, wrapping up in August of that year. That put the movie on a planned theater run starting on November 13, 2020. But that date was scrapped early on in the pandemic when it became obvious that theaters were not anywhere close to opening at full capacity. Because the entire industry was pushed back, Clifford the Big Red Dog followed suit in this regard.
Now, with no timeline on Clifford the Big Red Dog it is unclear when anyone will see the movie. Based on the children’s book franchise of the same name by Norman Bridwell, the story follows the adventures of the titular dog who stands out from the canine crowd because of his color and size. The stories, which started all the way back in 1963, often have Clifford getting into usual dog activities that take on a totally new context because is the size of a house.
The Clifford the Big Red Dog film adaptation is directed by Walt Becker who previously helmed movies like Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Trip, Old Dogs, Wild Hogs, and Van Wilder. There has been a low-level comedic vibe to some of his family-oriented films which was sure to play over into this latest release. David Alan Grier is voicing Clifford in the film and is joined by Darby Camp (The Christmas Chronicles) as Emily Elizabeth Howard who raises Clifford in the books. Other notables in the cast include Jack Whitehall, John Cleese, Russel Peters, Tony Hale, Kenan Thompsons, Rosie Perez, and Paul Rodriguez. This is a stacked comedic cast for sure.
When we actually see Clifford the Big Red Dog remains to be seen. Currently without a timetable, Paramount clearly wants to hold it until they know theaters can be working at full capacity and folks will feel comfortable with the experience. It could be some time before we see this animatronic pooch.