Shooting began this week in Edwardsville, Illinois.
The Humane Society of Missouri rescued Marshall, the Labrador, together with 60 other animals from an animal hoarder.
Marshall was near death. IVeterinarian Dr. Steven Schwartz, said it was the worst case of neglect he had ever seen. Bite marks Had left a huge hole in the Lab’s cheek, his front leg was so mangled that doctors had no choice but to amputate. Marshall’s heart stopped three times on the operating table. His will to live is reason he Humane Society called him the miracle dog.
The Lab has come a long way. Production of his movie is underway.
Cynthia Willenbrock adopted Marshall, cared for him after the amputation, then quit her job to write a children’s book on his life’s story. The movie, now being shot in the metro east, is based on that book.
“It’s about that whole message of kindness to animals, kindness to each other, kindness in general,” said Willenbrock.
It’s why big stars like Shannon Elizabeth signed on.
“I read the script and I fell in love. I was crying all through the script,” said Elizabeth.
Most of the movie will be filmed in the Metro East. According to director Jay Kanzler, Illinois not only has beautiful locations, but it makes better financial sense.
Max, a 1-year-old Lab will play him in the movie. Paws for Effect, from Los Angeles trained Max and Spartacus, a 165 pound bull mastiff. Spartacus plays the canine bully, but was so gentle, they had to train him to growl.
Max has learned how to limp and lower his head to look sad, just like Marshall did before he was rescued.
The book and now the movie are just the beginning. A Character Education Curriculum has been designed based on Marshall’s story. Its goal is to empower high school juniors and seniors to serve as peer-to-peer mentors; they share Marshall’s 5 Cornerstones—Empathy, Strength, Courage, Kindness, Forgiveness—with middle and elementary school classrooms.