The Call of the Wild, Filled with Adventure, it’s Magnificent!
Thank you, Disney, for inviting me to am early screening of The Call of the Wild and press junket! We had the opportunity to interview Harrison Ford (John Thornton), Cara Gee (Francoise), Chris Sanders (Director).
First up was with the legendary Harrison Ford, I have to mention, I have been watching Mr. Ford on the big screen since I was a child with my dad. He was my dad’s all-time favorite actor, he would been tickled to know I interviewed the iconic Harrison Ford!
A brief background on Call of the Wild, The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand.
Harrison Ford companion Buck, in the movie, was NOT played by a pup! The challenge for Mr.Ford was that his co-star, Buck, wasn't real, he's computer-generated. Terry Notary A former Cirque de Soleil performer was the dog's human stand-in. "He gave me someone to establish an emotional relationship with," said Ford. I asked Mr. Ford what he would like his audience goers to take away after watching Call of the Wild.
Mr. Ford: I thought the film has a lot to say about human characters as well as animal characters. The story is so much more than a man and dog relationship, Buck has his destiny, but all the while Thornton has an opportunity to gain humanity in Buck’s eyes because of their close relationship. And he gets the courage from Buck to face parts of his life that he didn’t dare to face before this relationship,” Ford continued. “So there’s a nice roundness to the drama.”
The Call of the Wild reminds everyone to be in the present, to enjoy life and be in the now. Another reason why Call of the Wild was important for me is bringing awareness, we're in danger of losing the support of nature for our lives, for our economies, for our societies," said Ford. "Because nature doesn't need people, but, people need nature."
Cara Gee on finding out the pup wasn’t real! “When I got the part and found out that I was going to have to be looking a grown man in the face pretending he was a dog, I was like, 'Well, it's going to be a huge challenge..."But Terry made it so easy. He's such a convincing performer, and he committed 100 percent to that. You could look him in the eye and he was the dog."
Cara Gee plays Françoise, who works with Buck as she leads a Canadian mail-delivery dog-sled team with pal Perrault, played by French star Omar Sy.
Mrs. Gee: “It is very powerful to be a part of something of this scale grand scale! I'm from Bobcaygeon, Ontario, being an Indigenous performer, it does feel like the world is full of possibilities right now. “ She continues, “For the role of Françoise, Mrs. Gee said the producers hired a woman who is Tlingit from the Yukon to be her cultural adviser by phone. The adviser's grandmother was a dog sledder like Francoise, around the 1920s and '30s. It was really important to me to learn about that culture and to honor and respect that, and to portray it with accuracy.
“One of the things that was exciting was that this is the first time anybody has ever done the entire novel,” Sanders stated. “The ambition of this film was to begin at the beginning and tell the entire arc of Buck’s story and that’s just one of the greatest things about this particular version of it because we get to see Buck as a sled dog for the very first time. We get to see him as a happy-go-lucky kind of goofy guy with him in this land of plenty at the beginning of the film and then we get to see him take this entire journey. The thing that made me so comfortable about working on this was the huge animated element that was going to make this film work, that from where I come from, and I felt like I could bring something to the party.”
The Call of the Wild hits theaters Friday 2/21! Get ready for an adventure, it’s magnificent.
Adapted from the beloved literary classic, THE CALL OF THE WILD vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.
As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team--and later its leader--Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master. As a live-action/animation hybrid, THE CALL OF THE WILD employs cutting edge visual effects and animation technology in order to render the animals in the film as fully photorealistic--and emotionally authentic--characters.