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Australian Novel ‘Runt’ Gets Movie Adaptation

A full-length movie adaptation of the best-selling Australian novel “Runt” has gotten the green light to begin filming. The beloved story of a girl and her dog is slated to hit theaters in the near future, according to Variety. Just as the text did, the film will feature the adventures of a titular stray dog, named Runt. This coming-of-age narrative will celebrate Runt’s unwavering love and loyalty towards his impoverished human family. In particular, the focus will be on his curious companionship with the farmer’s daughter. Audiences will surely delight as the quirky canine works with the protagonist to save the humble homestead from impending demise.

‘Runt’ is a heartwarming story of a stray dog

Once it became wildly successful, Craig Silvey’s magnum opus was practically destined to receive a full-length feature film adaptation. As per Screen Hub Australia, production on the movie adaptation of “Runt” will begin next month. Currently, Studiocanal is in charge of international rights sales, as well as local distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

Joining renowned cult classics like “Old Yeller” and “Where the Red Fern Grows,” this heartwarming Australian tale tells the story of protagonist Annie Shearer and her canine companion. Annie is a plucky 11-year-old girl who partners up with an adopted stray dog, Runt, to save their family farm. 

Their plan? Runt must compete in the Agility Course Grand Championships at the prestigious Krumpets Dog Show in London. Given that, the movie adaptation of “Runt,” set in the country town of Upson Downs, reiterates the time-tested love of a child and her dog, as they struggle against odds to turn their shared dream into reality. 

Published in 2022, the book won a slew of major Australian literary awards. Among them is the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year for Young Readers. Additionally, it was also the recipient of the Australian Book Industry Awards’ Book of the Year for Younger Children.

Craig Silvey is in charge of the movie adaptation of ‘Runt’

West Australian author Craig Silvey will adapt his novel for the silver screen. John Sheedy will direct the film, and Jamie Hilton is in charge of the production. Nine-year-old Lily LaTorre will enact the role of Annie Shearer. In addition, Lily’s real-life brother will be joining her on screen. As such, Jack LaTorre will play Annie’s brother Max in the movie adaptation of “Runt.” Other Australian actors cast in the film include Celeste Barber, Deborah Mailman, Jack Thompson, Matt Day, and Jai Courtney. 

Accompanying the siblings as the canine co-star is Squid, who will play the role of everybody’s favorite shaggy dog Runt. As a rescue animal who has been retrained for this role, Squid’s story mirrors that of his fictional counterpart, Runt. In fact, Squid might just be ready to “become an Australian screen legend herself,” according to producers.

“The See Pictures team, our investors and many of our cast and crew are Aussie parents who are making this joyful movie for our kids and grandkids,” Hilton says. In fact, while highlighting Studiocanal’s involvement with the “Paddington” franchise, Hilton remarks that this movie adaptation will ideally channel the timeless appeal of characters like Paddington and Babe through the character of stray dog Runt. If they are truly successful, Runt shall become Western Australia’s own canine icon, as he truly deserves.


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