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Meet Koko the new canine movie star.

Byline: ANI

Melbourne, Aug 10 (ANI): Australia's newest and cutest movie star Koko has been revealed to have dreamy brown eyes, a mischievous grin, screen charisma in spades, and four legs.

The dog was discovered as producer Nelson Woss auditioned a number of good-looking hounds to fill the lead role in 'Red Dog', a film adaptation of Louis de Bernieres' book.

And when he saw the red kelpie, he knew he had his star.

"Some people are stars," the Courier Mail quoted him as saying.

"You don't know what it is about them, but they change the temperature of the room," he said.

De Bernieres, a British author, had written 'Red Dog' after seeing a statue erected in the hound's honour in Dampier, Western Australia.

The story goes that the real animal would either travel by train or hitchhike from town to town.

"It's amazing how many people were affected over such a vast area by this little dog," Woss said.

"He would intersect people's lives and change them. He became a mascot for the whole community," he stated.

Raised by a family of breeders, Koko is now working with veteran animal trainer Luke Hura at a secret location about an hour from Melbourne.

By the time filming starts in the first half of next year, he will have been rehearsing for more than 12 months, which is why Woss wants to keep his exact whereabouts under wraps.

"Koko's a great dog," Hura said.

But he added that like any big movie star, "he can be a little demanding at times".

Joel Pearlman will be managing director of the film, which he said would be very Australian.

"There have been other films about dogs before but I think Red Dog is completely original," he said.

"He is his own character.

"We're certainly excited about the potential this project has because the characters are so warm.

"We're hoping he's not going to hog the limelight too much," Pearlman added.

Kriv Stenders will be directing the movie. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 10, 2009
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