Babydog secures second film role

By Matthew Young, RealWV

On the heels of Disney’s successful 2019 remake of the 1955 animated classic Lady and the Tramp, Nickelodeon Films hopes to duplicate that success with a modern reimagining of their own famous pup – Blue of Blue’s Clues-fame. 

Much like the Lady and the Tramp remake, Blue’s Clues will be a live action/CGI hybrid. Although director Francis Ford Coppola has stated he intends to keep the CGI to a minimum. 

“Obviously we have to make the dog blue,” Coppola said in a recent interview. “We’ll use the computers for that.”

Coppola also stated that his film will be nothing like 2022’s “Blue’s Big City Adventure” which saw original host, Steve Burns, reprise his role as Blue’s bestest buddy. Coppola’s film, titled “Blue: the Final Clue,” will follow the titular Blue (reimagined as a male dog) as he attempts to rescue a much older Steve – now played by famed character-actor Steve Buscemi – from the crippling realities of middle age. 

“Steve’s older now, he’s lived and seen some things,” Buscemi told members of the press at a February media function.

Buscemi portrayed “Mr. Pink” in Quentin Tarrantino’s 1992 crime drama “Reservoir Dogs.” For his role in Martin Scorcese’s “Boardwalk Empire,” Buscemi received multiple Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award nominations. Coppola, himself a five-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Director, is known for the films “Apocalypse Now,” “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” and The Godfather franchise.

Steve Buscemi in his iconic role as “Mr. Pink” in Quentin Tarrantino’s 1992 crime drama Reservoir Dogs. Photo courtesy of IMDB.

According to Coppola, finding the perfect dog to play the lead role of Blue proved much easier than he’d first imagined. 

“I was home watching a Christmas film with my wife,” Coppola said. “My sister, Adrian, was there watching with us. I saw this little bulldog on the television, and I got all excited.”

“Adrian, she was all, “Settle down, Francis!” Coppola added. “But I knew it right away – that dog was my Blue! So I told her, ‘Yo Adrian, we did it! That’s my boy, Blue!’”

Director Francis Ford Coppola and his sister, Adrian. Photo courtesy of the New York Post.

The movie was “Christmas at the Greenbrier,” and the bulldog who so thoroughly caught Coppola’s attention was none other than West Virginia’s first pup, Babydog. The film was shot on location at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs. 

The Greenbrier Resort is owned by West Virginia’s governor, and Babydog’s proud papa, Jim Justice. Coppola wasted little time reaching out to Justice in the hopes of securing the bulldog’s services. 

“When Francis makes you an offer you can’t refuse, it surely to heavens don’t have mud flaps or squirrel tails,” Justice said, of his conversation with Coppola. “This is just another example of the greatness we do here in West Virginia.”

Babydog, star of “Blue: the Final Clue,” with his handler. Photo by Matthew Young.

Justice laughed about his attempt to persuade Coppola to cast him and First Lady Cathy Justice as the characters “Mr. Salt” and “Mrs. Pepper,” but said he abandoned his efforts when “Cathy about killed me.” However, Justice continues to publicly lobby for the casting of W.Va. Secretary of State Mac Warner as “Mailbox,” and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey as “Slippery Soap.” There is no word yet on casting choices for Blue’s K-9 friend “Magenta.” However, Elon Musk’s dog, Floki, has been rumored for the part. 

Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman has signed on to narrate the film. “Blue: the Final Clue” is scheduled to arrive in theaters across the country on April 1, 2024. 

NOTE: This satirical-fiction was created in cooperation with Gov. Jim Justice’s Communications Office.  

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