Channing Tatum’s Secret Dog Movie for 2023. What We Know So Far


Actor Channing Tatum has had an impressive career in Hollywood, starring in major films like the Step Up, Magic Mike, and 21 Jump Street franchises. He is known for both comedic and dramatic roles, and his natural charisma and energy often shine through in his performances. His latest starring role is in the 2023 film Dog, which Tatum co-directed with his longtime creative partner Reid Carolin.

Dog is an upcoming American road trip comedy film distributed by United Artists Releasing and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on February 17, 2023. The film will center around Tatum’s character and his dog as they embark on a road trip together. Tatum’s easy and lovable on-screen presence is sure to pair perfectly with canine companionship for a feel-good buddy movie.

Plot Summary

Dog tells the story of former Army Rangers Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois) as they race down the Pacific Coast to make it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Briggs reluctantly agrees to drive Lulu from Washington state to Arizona for the funeral of her handler and Briggs’ friend, Army Ranger Corporal Ronnie Rodriguez. Briggs just wants to drop off the dog and move on, but ends up going on a life-changing road trip with Lulu.

dog movie plot follows soldier and military dog

The journey proves difficult for the mismatched pair, as Briggs struggles with PTSD and the challenges of peacetime life as a former soldier. However, he begins to find new purpose and meaning through his bond with Lulu. Along the way, they meet various characters who impact their adventure. The trip tests their limits, but eventually helps Briggs confront his emotional trauma and discover that opening your heart can lead to powerful healing.

When Briggs and Lulu finally reach their destination for Rodriguez’s funeral, Briggs comes to appreciate and understand the dog’s significance. Their cross-country road trip allows Briggs to find closure and peace. Ultimately, the film explores themes of loss, grief, friendship, purpose, and finding yourself.


Channing Tatum’s Role

Channing Tatum stars in Dog as Army Ranger Briggs, a veteran who sets out on a road trip to drive his fallen friend’s military dog, Lulu, to his funeral. This marks Tatum’s first time headlining a film solo since 2017’s Logan Lucky.

channing tatum prepared intensely for lead role

To prepare for the role, Tatum underwent intensive training with military dog handlers to learn how to work with the Belgian Malinois acting opposite him. He also spent time with active duty Rangers to immerse himself in the mindset of a soldier returning from multiple tours of duty.

According to director Reid Carolin, Tatum was very hands-on during the filming process. In addition to performing many of his own stunts, Tatum helped design Brigg’s unkempt appearance and assisted with shaping scenes to add more nuance and realism to the character. He also improvised several moments that made it into the final cut of the film.

Behind-the-scenes footage shows Tatum forming a close bond with the dog actors, letting them sleep in his trailer and playing with them between takes. His commitment to understanding the Ranger experience allowed him to bring an authenticity to the lead role that grounded the buddy comedy-drama.

Supporting Cast

Other notable actors in Dog include Jane Adams as Deb, Kevin Nash as Ronnie, and Q’orianka Kilcher as Nurse Laurie. Adams plays Deb, Briggs’ ex-wife who still cares for him despite their troubled history. Nash takes on the role of Ronnie, Briggs’ Army friend who tries to provide him with support and advice. Kilcher portrays Laurie, a nurse who treats Briggs with compassion.

Additionally, Ethan Suplee plays crew member Marine Bernstein, Emmy Raver-Lampman is seen as bakery worker Amelia, and Nicole LaLiberte portrays Dot, a dog rescuer. These supporting characters help shape the story and provide depth to the relationships surrounding Briggs.

Director and Crew

Dog is directed by Reid Carolin, who makes his feature film directorial debut with this project. Carolin is best known for his screenwriting work, having written films such as Magic Mike and its sequel Magic Mike XXL, both of which starred Channing Tatum. Carolin and Tatum are close creative partners, having founded the production company Free Association together in 2010.

Besides directing, Carolin also wrote the screenplay for Dog. The film is based on Carolin’s own experiences road-tripping with his dog across the western United States after a close friend passed away. The producers on Dog are Gregory Jacobs, Peter Kiernan, and Pamela Abdy. Jacobs is another frequent collaborator with Tatum and Carolin, having produced and directed Magic Mike XXL.

The writer duo of Brett Rodriguez and Mark Steilen also contributed to the Dog screenplay. Rodriguez and Steilen previously wrote the 2021 action comedy film Skull. Other key crew members include director of photography Claudio Miranda, production designer Clayton Hartley, editor Troy Takaki, and composer Christophe Beck and Michael Tavera.

Filming Locations

Principal photography for Dog took place primarily in California, with some scenes filmed in the Monterey area along the iconic Highway 1 and Bixby Bridge in Big Sur according to IMDb and LatLong.

filming locations included california landscapes

Additional filming was done in Santa Clarita and Lancaster, California as noted by SceenIt. On-location shooting also took place at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The film crew utilized the natural California landscape to capture the road trip feel of the movie. Iconic spots like Bixby Bridge along the Pacific Coast Highway provided dramatic backdrops for key scenes.

Critical Reception

Dog received largely positive reviews from critics upon its initial release. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 74% based on 178 reviews, with an average rating of 6.30/10. The site’s critical consensus states, “An affectionate tribute to the four-legged friends who bring much-needed stability into soldiers’ lives, Dog reunites director Channing Tatum with his Magic Mike star Reid Carolin for a bittersweet buddy adventure.”

Many critics praised Tatum’s assured directorial debut and performance. Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, “Tatum proves to have learned a tremendous amount from the directors he has worked with over the years, because he knows precisely how to accessorize Lulu to accentuate the absurdity of the premise.” Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ and said, “As both actor and director, [Tatum] leans into [the] inherent ridiculousness with a wry charisma.”

The film exceeded expectations at the box office. Released over President’s Day weekend, Dog grossed $14.9 million in its opening frame, finishing second behind Marvel’s Uncharted. Variety reported, “It’s a great start for ‘Dog’ since the movie only cost $15 million to produce.” The film continued to hold well in subsequent weeks, ultimately grossing over $85 million worldwide against its modest budget. Its commercial success affirmed Tatum’s directorial talents and bankability as a lead actor.


Impact and Legacy

‘Dog’ expands Channing Tatum’s career into directing and highlights his versatility as an actor. Despite being known for comedy roles, Tatum brings depth and nuance to his portrayal of an Army Ranger struggling with PTSD. The film’s positive critical reception proves Tatum can lead more dramatic stories.

film expands tatum's career into directing

The movie’s commercial success, grossing over $60 million worldwide on a $15 million budget, makes potential sequels or spinoffs possible. According to, Tatum expressed interest in exploring the lives of other military working dog handlers in future projects. With Tatum’s revelatory performance in ‘Dog,’ more serious roles could be in his future.


The upcoming 2023 movie Strays, starring Channing Tatum and directed by Josh Greenbaum, is set to be one of the most highly anticipated dog movies of the year. The film follows an abandoned dog who teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner.

With an A-list cast including Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, and Randall Park, Strays brings together comedic talents in what is sure to be a heartwarming buddy comedy. The movie promises humor, adventure, and an emotional story about the bonds between dogs and humans. Early reviews have been positive, praising the cast’s chemistry and the film’s clever humor.

For dog lovers and Channing Tatum fans alike, Strays is shaping up to be a crowd-pleasing hit that will likely earn a spot among the most beloved dog movies. With its topical storyline about abandoned pets and a first-rate cast, Strays has all the ingredients to be a moving and entertaining time at the movies. When it hits theaters later this year, Strays will surely be one of 2023’s must-see films.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to learn more about Dog and star Channing Tatum:

Check out this in-depth review of Dog from the Washington Post.

Read this article from Taking Up Room that provides more details about the plot and characters.

Learn more about Channing Tatum’s career in this biography from

Get the latest on upcoming Channing Tatum projects at his official website.

See Channing’s complete filmography on his IMDb page.

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