'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Theater Release Delayed Due To Delta Variant Concerns

by Kristine Cannon
clifford the big red dog
Paramount Pictures

The live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s book won’t hit theaters in September anymore

As the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, Paramount Pictures has pulled the live-action adaptation of popular, beloved children’s book Clifford the Big Red Dog from its September theatrical release. The movie was scheduled to hit theaters on Sept. 17.

Paramount Pictures

According to Deadline, the CGI/live-action feature is complete; however, with families less likely to go to theaters, especially as the variant spreads, Paramount is now looking for a new U.S. release date. “Paramount believes it has a winner with Clifford, but only if kids can safely go to the multiplex,” the outlet reports.

Paramount was rumored to push the film by just one week, to Sept. 22, but now that is not the case.

Starring Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth and Jack Whitehall as her uncle Casey, Clifford the Big Red Dog tells the story of the bond between Emily and her, well, big red dog, which she received as a gift from an animal rescuer (played by John Cleese in the film). Tony Hale also stars.

“While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple,” the logline states.


Paramount’s big-screen adaptation of Norman Bridwell’s children’s book about the 25-foot-tall red dog isn’t the first adaptation of the book series, which was first published in 1963. The popular animated Clifford series has aired on PBS since 2000.

The big-screen adaptation directed by Walt Becker was announced earlier this summer, with the full trailer released in late June. Since, it’s racked up nearly 8 million views.

“This is the story of a little neighborhood,” Paul Rodriguez, who plays an NYC bodeda owner in the film alongside fellow comedian Horatio Sanz, tells NBC News. “We have Latino bodega owners, African American lawyers, an Indian magician and an elderly Jewish woman. This movie is looking at a global audience.”

Keith Ewell, who plays Mr. Jarvis in Clifford the Big Red Dog, adds, “This film talks a lot about not judging people by appearance, and I think it’s indicative in our diverse cast. I think the industry is heading in the right direction in terms of telling stories for all people, and that’s both exciting and hopeful.”

Keep an eye out for the new release date.