Top hat-sporting dog aristocrats get their own terrifying film

Illustration for article titled Top hat-sporting dog aristocrats get their own terrifying film

In the near future, New York City will be invaded by superintelligent dogs, decked out in top hats, white tie and tails. These refined "monster dogs" are getting their own film, which will live on in your children's nightmares forever.

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Lives of the Monster Dogs based on the bizarre novel by Kirsten Bakis, is being made into a film by
Chris Wedge (Ice Age) and Adam Kline. The film is based around a clan of soldier dogs who were genetically engineered to be hyper-intelligent and super polite. They also walk on their hind legs [devils!] and communicate with humans via mechanical voice boxes. Dressed in their 19th century best, they show up in NYC and cause quite a stir, naturally. It's being reported that Wedge is interested in having this film be his big break into live action films. It could be the coolest-looking thing ever, or nightmare fuel. Or both.

Illustration for article titled Top hat-sporting dog aristocrats get their own terrifying film

Here's a longer synopsis Quiet Earth discovered:

Dark and haunting, the novel that inspires the film is meant to be remembered like no other: a spellbinding tale that both creates its own fully realized world perspective and provides an incisive look at the ways that humans and animals resemble each other.

A group of elegant monster dogs in top hats, tails, and bustle skirts become instant celebrities when they land, totally unexpected, in New York city on a cold winter night sometime in the near future.

Refugees from a town whose residents had been utterly isolated for a hundred years, the dogs retain the nineteenth-century Germanic culture of the humans who created them. They are wealthy and glamorous and seem to lead charmed lives – but they find adjusting to the modern world difficult, and when a young woman, Cleo Pira, befriends them, she discovers that a strange, incurable illness threatens them all with extinction.

When the dogs construct their dream home, a fantastic castle on the Lower East Side, and barricade themselves inside, Cleo finds herself one of the few human witnesses to a mad, lavish party that may prove to be the final act in the drama of the lives of the strange creatures.

An epic tale of romance and utter madness, LIVES OF THE MONSTER DOGS may indeed be the final epilogue on the destiny of the human kind…

The film is currently in development with WedgeWorks Films.

[THR via Quiet Earth]

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DISCUSSION

annaleenewitz
Annalee Newitz

As somebody who has been obsessed with this novel for a really long time, I am a little concerned about Ice Age dude bringing it to the screen. Mostly he's done kiddie comedy (I mean, I love Ice Age, but it's not exactly deep.)

This is a dark, brooding story that isn't really about dogs in top hats - it's about creatures who've been experimented on, and raised with nineteenth century values (hence the top hats). One of the conceits of the novel is that the dogs are alien not because they are dogs, but because they come from another century - their historical difference is greater than species difference.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the strange and haunting. It's gorgeously written, sad, but also with a very dark humor to it.