Willem Dafoe is set to star in Disney’s upcoming live-action dog sled movie called Togo. It will tell the center on two of the key figures in the 1925 Nome Serum Run... sled dog Togo and sled driver Leonhard Seppala. Defoe will take on the role of Seppala, which is going to be a great role for him!
Nome, Alaska became famous in 1925 as the destination of the serum run, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, in which dog sleds played a major role in transporting diphtheria serum through harsh conditions over nearly 700 miles to save the city from an epidemic. Gunnar Kaasen and his lead sled dog Balto became known for running the final leg of the run while the 12-year-old lead dog Togo and Seppala ran the penultimate and longest leg in temperatures that were 30 degrees below zero in gale force winds.
The story is said to focus on the unlikely friendship between man and dog. "Togo was an unruly and undersized puppy but showed great leadership qualities and became the lead dog at age five. He passed away in 1929."
This has the makings of the kind of classic feel-good Disney movie that we used to see the studio produce when many of us were growing up. As a fan of Dafoe, I'm looking forward to this.
The movie is being directed by Ericson Core, whose credits include Invincible and the remake of Point Break.