Red Dog prequel Blue Dog begins filming in the Pilbara

Red Dog prequel Blue Dog begins filming in the Pilbara, By Candice Barnes - 19th May 2015

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Levi Miller will play Mick, a boy living on a Pilbara cattle station in the 1960s.

The real Red Dog was nicknamed "The Pilbara Wanderer", so it seemed only fitting that filmmakers returned to the Pilbara to craft the follow up to the hit 2011 movie.

Production has begun on Blue Dog, with the crew expected to spend six weeks in regional Western Australia filming the prequel to Red Dog, the original film that grossed $21 million at the box office and broke DVD sales records for an Australian film.

Filmmakers had to seek a new canine for the film after Red Dog star Koko, owned by the movie's producer Nelson Woss, died in 2012.

"It's terrific to be back in the Pilbara region where the local communities were so supportive of the first Red Dog film," Mr Woss said.

"Blue Dog will take audiences on another iconic, fun, uniquely Australian journey that will put the spotlight on a location known for mining, yet also rich with landscapes of mesmerising beauty and amazing local stories of myth and culture."

The film follows the adventures of a young boy living on a Pilbara cattle station in the 1960s who finds a new friend in a "scrappy, one-of-a-kind pup".

Levi Miller has been cast as the youngster, while Bryan Brown and John Jarratt lend their star power.

"Daniel Taplitz has written a beautifully heart-warming screenplay that is both an original story and a stand alone movie in its own right," director Kriv Stenders said.

"Along with an amazing cast, a tried and trusted crew and one incredible dog, I feel very blessed and simply can't wait to share the result with audiences next year."

ScreenWest, Film Victoria and Screen Australia all provided funding, with more than a million dollars allocated by the WA government.

Regional development minister Terry Redman said the film would be shot entirely in WA, mostly in the Pilbara.

"Blue Dog will again put the Pilbara on the international stage, highlighting its spectacular landscape and rich cultural history, which are unique tourism assets of the region," Mr Redman said.

"Diversification of the Pilbara's economic base through industries that are not reliant on the resources industry, such as tourism, will deliver more jobs and locally-generated wealth."

The film is expected to be released in 2016.

(The Sydney Morning Herald)