Netflix is adding to its original programming with Benji, a reboot of the classic film, which receives a trailer and poster. The film adds to Netflix's prestigious original films category with films ranging from Little Evil to Mudbound. The company is rapidly making a name for itself as a film studio, with Mudbound garnering several historic nominations for the streaming service.
Benji sees Netflix expanding into more family-friendly programming. Originally begun in 1974, the Benji film series spotlighted a kind and lovable mixed breed mutt who would appear in the protagonist's life to help them solve a problem. Created by Joe Camp, the film series contains 12 films involving Benji in various predicaments. The 1974 film focuses on Benji coming into the lives of two children who ultimately end up on an adventure with the mutt, which concludes with them adopting Benji into the family. Benji became a pop culture staple similar to Lassie famed for similar very well trained stunts.
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Billed as, "He gets a New Home," Benji arrives on Netflix from Blumhouse Productions. Brandon Camp, son of Benji's original creator Joe Camp, helms the Netflix reboot. Benji marks a departure for Blumhouse, traditionally known for horror films along the lines of Get Out and Happy Death Day. Benji will be Blumhouse's first family-oriented film. Watch the Benji trailer above and take a look at the poster below.
This new film looks to be a reboot of the original classic. Starring Darby Camp (Big Little Lies), Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out), Jerod Haynes (Empire), and Kiele Sanchez (The Purge: Anarchy), the new trailer offers a look at a reboot that mirrors the 1974 film closely. Told from Darby Camp's Carter's perspective, Benji appears one day after he and his sister come home from school. The two children adopt the dog against their mother's wishes and keep him in their room, which results in a hilarious scene of the mother discovering their secret.
Benji is a major departure from Blumhouse's traditional fare of horror and crime-themed dramas. While something like Five Nights at Freddy's would be a "family" film more in line with the horror house's ideas, Benji is a smart step for Blumhouse to make. The series is a beloved classic and could open the door to more G and PG-rated family-friendly properties down the line.
Even if Benji doesn't perform for Blumhouse and Netflix, the latter has made a name for itself with original programming and the former has other options to switch up the Benji titles to something more unusual. A classic Benji title is Oh! Heavenly Dog!, which features Chevy Chase as a private investigator who is put in Benji's body after he dies to solve his murder. While Oh! Heavenly Dog! isn't planned for Netflix's reboot, time will tell if it's a trick that Benji will learn. In the meantime, this new film could be just what Netflix and Blumhouse are looking for.
Benji rolls onto Netflix March 16th, 2018.