Hood's heroic huskies
I couldn't resist the alliteration, but the story here is not what Gavin Hood's latest film is, but what it isn't. You'll remember that Hood brought us Tsotsi (Filmstalker review), so the idea that he's going to make a film which sounds like an overly emotionally manipulative Disney film rather than something that had the impact and social awareness of Tsotsi.
The film reminds me of the Disney Paul Walker and Moon BloodGood film, although this one sees the dogs and humans racing to Nome in Alaska with a diphtheria antidote in 1952, a journey of almost seven hundred miles.
It was actually six hundred and seventy-four miles, and twenty men with two hundred dogs travelled the distance to deliver the antidote to the town to quell an outbreak, and during their journey they faced temperatures as low as minus sixty degrees.
The story captured the hearts of Americans and one of the dogs even has a statue in Central Park, New York.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Gavin Hood is in negotiations to direct The Cruelest Miles which was adapted by Sean O'Keefe and Will Staples from the novel by Gay and Laney Salisbury, The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com).
However what I'm forgetting about Gavin Hood is that he directed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a competent film, but not a great one, Tsotsi was by far the superior film. So I guess he could quite easily deliver the Disney type emotionally manipulative film that the studio no doubt wants.
I frankly would hope for something different, something that is more harrowing and realistic, more akin to Touching the Void than anything else.
I do hold out hope that we will see that kind of film and that the studio won't bow to something dripping in sentimentality and brimming with sweetened triumph over adversity.