Strays Director Thought It Was a Prank When Film Was Pitched to Him

Josh Greenbaum recalls the first email he got about Strays.

Strays is hitting theaters this weekend, and is follows a dog named Reggie (Will Ferrell) who is abandoned on by his owner, Doug (Will Forte). Reggie soon meets a foul-mouthed Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx) and his gang of strays, and they set off on a quest to seek revenge on Doug. The film's director, Josh Greenbaum (Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar), recently spoke with ComicBook.com's Chris Killian about the new film and talked about the movie's star-studded voice cast. During the chat, Greenbaum was asked if the movie was pitched as "Homeward Bound, but with d*ck jokes." 

"I can tell you, yes. It was similar to that. I got an email that, first of all to give you context, at the bottom of the email, I noted right away there was an animated gift of a small dog humping a larger dog. So that was what started sort of the amuse-bouche of the email. I was like, 'What is this?' And then, yeah, the logline is what was sent to me with a script that said, you know, 'a young naive dog, Reggie, is abandoned by his terrible owner, Doug. He meets up with some other strays and wants to go on an adventure for revenge, and biting off Doug's, you know, most beloved body part,'" Greenbaum explained with a chuckle.

"And that was it," Greenbaum added. "I was like, 'Okay, this seems like potentially a prank. Maybe this is real, maybe this isn't the script.' But I was very excited, and that's how it started ... I think that I read it and was so excited to see that it was so much, far beyond a dog movie spoof. Like that was kind of my thought, 'Oh, I bet this is just spoofing the dog movie genre.' Which is fun, but I don't know if it sustains a feature-length film that really can kind of get a hold of all audiences in a way."

He continued, "What I finally read, I was like, 'Oh, this is really funny, really outrageous, but has a real sweet emotional center to it at the same time,' which I love. I love having kind of all of that in the mix of what I get to work with tonally. So, that's how it started. It was a very funny, bizarre, crazy email that I had a bunch of scripts to read that weekend, and that one immediately shot to the top of my reading list."

Strays hits theaters on August 18th.