Indie filmmaker Todd Solondz loves to play within his own cinematic universe ala Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. 2009’s “Life During Wartime” is a quasi sequel to 1998’s “Happiness” and 2004’s “Palindromes” begins at the funeral for Dawn Wiener, the protagonist from his debut feature “Welcome to the Dollhouse.”
Well, Solondz is either ignoring his own cannon or just changing history with “Wiener-Dog,” his upcoming Annapurna Pictures comedy. The movie stars Greta Gerwig as the aforementioned Dawn Wiener grown up and the comedy tells several stories featuring people who find their life inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading comfort and joy
Principal photography has begun on “Wiener-Dog,” and Annapurna has revealed its cast which includes the previously in-talks Julie Delpy, plus Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Brie Larson, Ellen Burstyn, Zosia Mamet and writer/actor Tracy Letts. Megan Ellison is producing through her Annapurna Pictures alongside Christine Vachon of Killer Films.
Written and directed by Solondz, in a press release Annapurna says the movie “will feature characters from Solondz’s 1995 cult hit ‘Welcome To The Doll House,’ “so that means more than just Dawn and possibly other members from her family. Strangely enough, it almost sounds like a sequel idea to “Life During Wartime.” That film wasn’t a direct sequel to “Happiness” but used some of those characters in a new setting. “Wiener-Dog,” which basically connects the lives of different characters via one lost dog, feels like it will have the same approach.
And in case you’re wondering, Heather Matarazzo, the original Dawn, won’t be appearing.