Leonardo DiCaprio & Jane Goodall To Exec Produce ‘Howl’ From Promethean Pictures

Jane Goodall and Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio and revered environmental activist Jane Goodall will executive produce Howl, a film following an abandoned family dog and a young wolf, which will unfold from the animals’ perspective. The Promethean Pictures movie has just entered production, we can reveal. It is not an environment film per se, but the team behind it plans to give moviegoers a transformative view of the natural world.

Set against the backdrop of a harsh winter, the movie will follow Harry, a family dog who is inadvertently left home alone and whose owners then die in an accident. Harry goes through a rollercoaster survival ride that brings him into contact with a wolf. The pair must overcome their mutual fear and suspicion, and ultimately they develop a close bond. The story is animal-led, but there will be some human characters with casting news to follow.

E. Elias Merhige (Shadow of the Vampire) will direct and Christopher Monger (Temple Grandin) has penned the screenplay. The movie is the first from Promethean Pictures, the new label formed by Argo Films’ Richard Johns (The Shepherd) and Merhige. Pierre-Marcel Blanchot and Fabrice Lambot’s Phase 4 will coproduce in association with Léo Maidenberg from Place du Marché. Doug Allan (Frozen Planet) is on board as cinematographer.

Goodall’s fascination with wolves dates back to childhood. “Howl will not only be an enjoyable and entertaining experience but will also help change perceptions of the ‘big bad wolf,’ which has been hunted to extinction in many areas of the world and is threatened and endangered in many others,” she said. “I hope we can make people understand their need to live alongside us and show these sacred creatures for what they are.”

The distinctive filming approach and Howl’s global messages resonated with DiCaprio and Goodall. DiCaprio has spoken and written about his admiration for world-renowned primatologist and activist Goodall, and the pair have worked together before and have a longstanding friendship. Appian Way Productions’ Jennifer Davisson and Michael Hampton are on board as EPs.

“Along with our good friend Jane Goodall, we were thrilled to board such a project as Howl that will stimulate such curiosity and enjoyment from all ages around the world,” Davisson said. “We hope this film encourages people to understand and appreciate the inextricable relationship between us humans and the natural wildlife that surrounds us.”

T.P. Lim from Malaysia’s Infinitus Entertainment is also an EP. He has had a long connection with Goodall as President of her Roots & Shoots environmental and humanitarian program in Malaysia and was instrumental in bringing Howl to her attention. The stellar team of EPs has been on board throughout development.

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A new wave of film and TV projects encourages audiences to think about the environment, but achieves that through entertaining and inclusive storytelling rather than serving up apocalyptic visions. Director Merhige said Howl is a tale that will ask us to look beyond our human experience: “It is a daring and truly distinctive project and I’m incredibly excited to begin work with our amazing animal stars.”

Promethean’s Johns hailed the wider team and added that DiCaprio and Goodall’s involvement takes the movie to another level: “Their mutual love of wolves as a symbol of the wild and their authentic passion and commitment to telling inspiring and powerful stories about nature, the environment and sustainability will help elevate our film and ensure it gets to be seen by the widest possible audience.”

Phase 4’s Lambot, meanwhile, teased plans to create a Howl world: “With Promethean, we share an ambition to create a once-in-a-lifetime global film and nature event that appeals to audiences of all ages, and we are already exploring some interesting ancillary projects as part of a potential Howl universe,” he said.

Andrew Simpson, who worked on the The Revenant and Game of Thrones, will be wolf whisperer and dog trainer on Howl. With production underway, the film is expected to deliver in early 2026.

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