T he next instalment in the Red Dog story is here.
The trailer for Red Dog: True Blue was released overnight, with a hoard of homegrown talent gathering to tell the backstory of one of Australia's most lovable canines.
A prequel to 2011 classic Red Dog, the new film reunites director Kriv Stenders, producer Nelson Woss and writer Daniel Taplitz in the remote setting of the original - the Pilbara region of Western Australian.
Based on the 2002 short novel by Louis de Bernieres, Red Dog became one of the highest-grossing Australian films of all time, raking in $21 million at the box office. It's also the country's highest-selling movie on DVD.
The new film traces the origins of the kelpie who became an urban legend in Western Australia's Pilbara region in the 1970s. The dog, also known as "The Pilbara Wanderer", spent much of his life masterless and wandering through the Pilbara's mining communities.
Red Dog was a fictionalised account of the pup's life while True Blue will look at his origins.
The film will be led by Levi Miller, who most notably starred opposite Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara in 2015's Pan.
Miller will play Mick, a 13-year-old boy sent to live on his grandfather's Pilbara cattle station. Mick finds a puppy in a flood after a cyclone and the two become inseparable. After he is sent to boarding school, Mick decides to run away with his canine companion, called Blue.
Fellow Aussies Justine Clarke, Hanna Mangan Lawrence and Thomas Cocquerel join British actor Jason Isaacs in the cast for the coming-of-age prequel, while canine crew member Phoenix takes centre stage.
"It's a coming-of-age story about a boy who is sent to a cattle station in the Pilbara and ends up going on an amazing adventure," Stenders told Fairfax Media in 2015. "It's more a story about how the Red Dog legend became a legend. It could be the same dog, it could not be. It's up to the audience to decide."
Koko, the Australian kelpie star of the first film, died from heart disease in Perth in 2012. The original Red Dog leads Josh Lucas and Rachael Taylor will not reappear due to the story's timeline.
The release, from Roadshow Films and Good Dog Distribution, is among a number of films to receive financial support from the state's Royalties for Regions program, including mystery-drama Jasper Jones, based on the 2009 award-winning novel by Craig Silvey.
Red Dog: True Blue opens in Australian cinemas on December 26.