Downey Jr’s Shaggy Dog Story

Robert signs on for shape-shifting comedy

by Willow Green |
Published on

We have a treat today for anyone who grew up watching the TV show Woof! Fans of boys who turn into small cuddly terriers will be thrilled at the prospect of an entire film where someone insists on transforming into a sheepdog at regular intervals. Yes, that is the premise of The Shaggy Dog, starring Tim Allen as the poor unfortunate who is prone to the occasional burst of spontaneous canine-ity. Our favourite home improver struggles to lead a normal life despite the occasional urge to urinate on telegraph poles, chase cats and sniff people's bottoms. Today's news is that Robert Downey Jr, who has just finished shooting his role in A Scanner Darkly for Richard Linklater, has joined the cast. He will play a yuppie entrepreneur (already we're getting that "bad guy" vibe) who experiments on dogs (yup, definitely a baddie) in the hope of perfecting a miracle drug that will give seven years of life for every normal human year. Yes, he wants us all to measure our lives in dog years. Danny Glover and Sex and the City's Kristin Davis will also star. The film is a sort-of remake of a 1959 film, where a small boy turned into a sheepdog and could only break the curse through an act of extreme bravery. Obviously in this case the were-dog is an adult, but Allen's appeal should keep the kids' attention. The whole premise seems aimed squarely at the family comedy market, but with Allen doing his usual everyman-with-problems schtick, Downey Jr hamming it up as the villain and Davis bringing both eye-candy and a fine sense of comic timing, this could be a nice entry into the genre. As long as they bone up on their doggie behaviour, of course, and ensure that the special effects aren't shih-tzu. Sorry.

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