Created by writer/director Joe Camp, Benji has been a canine pop culture staple since the mid 1970s... and now he's ready to make his big comeback. The first Benji movie in 14 years is getting ready to hit Netflix next month, and now the first trailer for the family film has arrived online.
This newest feature about the famed mixed-breed pup actually comes from writer/director Brandon Camp, who is Joe Camp's son. Not including documentaries or cameos, it will be the tenth Benji film, and the first of this decade (with the exception of the 1990s, every decade since his introduction has seen a Benji movie released in some form). The character was gone for a while thanks to the disappointment of Benji: Off the Leash! back in 2004, but now he's back to enchant a whole new generation of younger audiences.
Produced by Blumhouse Productions (deviating from their normal horror programming), the new Benji is a reboot of the classic tale, telling the story of two children, Carter (Gabriel Bateman) and Frankie (Darby Camp), who take in a dog against the wishes of their mother (Kiele Sanchez). As you can see in the trailer, it leads to a host of dramatic ups and downs, but also sewn in is a kidnapping plot that sees the titular dog come to the rescue when the kids are in danger.
We're only a few weeks into the new year, and Netflix is already showcasing many of the original films that they have on their 2018 slate. We've already seen some major releases like David Wain's A Futile And Stupid Gesture and Julius Onah's The Cloverfield Paradox, and later this month will see the arrival of Duncan Jones' Mute. After that, Benji is arguably the next high-profile title on the list. Unfortunately, because we don't know much about what the rest of the year will hold thanks to the streaming service's strange approach towards release date announcements, but we expect good things in the coming months.
Those interested in seeing what this new generation of Benji is all about won't have to wait long to see the finished feature - provided there is access to a Netflix account at hand. The new movie will be available for viewing at 3am EST/midnight PST on March 16th - though it's hard to imagine that the target audience for this thing will be awake at that hour. Could it wind up being so popular that it winds up spurring on a whole new run of franchise films? The quality of this trailer suggests that it probably wouldn't be best in this situation to put the cart before the horse, but the little dog has proven in the past that he can do pretty much anything, so we're not counting out the possibility.