Dav Pilkey's Dog Man comic series is being adapted into an animated movie by DreamWorks Animation (How to Train Your Dragon), with Peter Hastings (Kung Fu Panda) attached to direct. The comic follows canine superhero Dog Man and his team of "Supa Buddies," which includes the hero's sidekicks/pals, such as Lil' Petey/Cat Kid (an idealistic kitten clone of the series villain), and 80-HD, Petey's self-made robot friend. Dog Man's success has eclipsed Pilkey's previous hit series, Captain Underpants, having sold nearly 40 million copies in print, with all nine graphic novels in the series rising to become no. 1 best-sellers.
As a recent sign of just how popular Dog Man is: the most recent titles in the series (Dog Man: Grime and Punishment and Dog Man: Fetch-22) have seen first printings of three and five million copies (respectively), shadowing any big sellers from DC or Marvel. Pilkey's career has been so uniquely successful that he became Publisher's Weekly's first-ever cartoonist to receive "Person of the Year" recognition. In fact, the only thing surprising about this Dog Man movie deal is that it took this long to happen!
Dog Man director Peter Hastings both come from an esteemed background in animation. He was one of the architects of the Animaniacs series of the '90s, as well as its spinoff, Pinky and the Brian; he worked on the TMNT series in the 2010s, and in more recent times, he helped convert Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda film series into the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness TV series. Hastings also has a good working relationship with Dav Pilkey, having adapted the cartoonist's Captain Underpants for TV, in projects including Captain Underpants: Epic Choice-o -rama , Captain Underpants: Mega Blissmas, and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants. He's a choice of director that fans of Pilkey's work can be somewhat comfortable with.
The Dog Man comic follows officer Knight and his dog Greg, who are both injured in an explosion. Officer Knight is left brain dead, while Greg is paralyzed below the neck. Man and canine are then combined into a being with a man's body and dog's head - aka Dog Man. Dog Man takes on a superhero identity as "The Bark Knight" and proceeds to fight evildoers that include villainous cat families; telekinetic tadpoles; psychokinetic fish; and even a crazy TV fairy and her dog-themed hand-puppet. The Dog Man comic is also pretty meta in that it exists within Palkey's Captain Underpants universe, as yet another in-series creation of Captain Underpants characters George Beard and Harold Hutchings.