Production on Disney’s Streaming Service film Togo is expected to begin this summer in Alberta, Canada, and the long in development film has finally found its star.
Willem Dafoe, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in last year’s The Florida Project, has signed on to play Kaasen in this tale of an unlikely friendship between man and dog
In the 1925 Nome Serum Run, dog sleds transported diphtheria serum over nearly 700 miles to save the city from an epidemic, and this film focuses on two key figures, sled dog Togo and driver Leonhard Seppala. Togo was born sickly and small, and required special care from Seppala’s wife. He only grew to around 48 lbs. as an adult, which is considered too small to make a lead dog. But Togo proved himself with his spirit and tenacity by jumping through a kennel window and running miles back to Seppala after he tried to give him away. During Seppala’s runs, Togo would follow the teams and lead them off the trail in charges against reindeer; Seppala had no choice but to put him in a harness to keep the other dog’s on task, and to his surprise, Togo calmed down immediately and shared the lead position by the end of his first run. Most people close to the story consider Balto the backup dog, as Togo led Seppala’s sled through the most dangerous territory of the run. In fact, Seppala was angry hat Hollywood had wanted to do a film that about Balto and the run without any mention of Togo. Now, there’s an opportunity to set the story straight, and give Togo the scratchbehind-the-ear he deserves.
Togo will be directed by Ericson Core, Who directed Disney’s Invincible in 2006, from a script by Tom Flynn (Gifted). Doug Jones is on board as a producer. The film is expected to be ready to debut for Disney’s streaming service in Fall 2019.