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Strays Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

Comedy veterans Will Ferrell and Will Forte both originally broke out as unconventional comic voices in "Saturday Night Live," though Forte was also an experienced comedy writer before he started acting professionally (via IMDb). Ferrell eventually became a movie star thanks to goofy hits like "Anchorman" and "The Other Guys," while Forte became known as a kind of cult comedy star, thanks to the "MacGruber" franchise and the critically acclaimed Fox sitcom "The Last Man on Earth." Both of the actors have also shown their dramatic side, as Ferrell appeared in the fantastical "Stranger Than Fiction" and other serious projects, while Forte won acclaim from critics for his tragicomic turn in 2013's "Nebraska."

Now, the two comedy legends are coming together, with fellow actor and comic Jamie Foxx, for a partially live-action, partially CGI-animated, very adult comedy called "Strays." Fans of the stars may be wondering when the film will be released, who will be behind the camera, and the storyline for the animal-centric project. Here's everything we know right now about Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy film "Strays."

When will Strays be released?

With Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("21 Jump Street," "The Lego Movie") producing, we're pretty sure "Strays" is going to be some quality comedy. However, we'll have to wait a while before we see all those cussing canines on the big screen. Originally, the film was set to hit theaters on June 9, 2023 — the thick of the lucrative and busy summer movie season. But it seems the Writers Guild of America strike has changed that.

The film will now be released on August 18, taking the place of "Please Don't Destroy," which is being shuffled off to Peacock. According to Deadline, because of the WGA strike, late-night talk shows aren't currently on the air. Universal was hoping to use these shows to promote their upcoming comedy, so in order to give themselves more time for publicity, they've pushed "Strays" back a bit further in the year.

What is the plot of Strays?

"Strays" is unusual because the protagonists of the adult comedy are a pair of dogs. Certainly, a pack of otherwise cute, sweet, and friendly pooches wreaking havoc on an evil human is a simple but fun setup for a comedy. Will Ferrell voices Reggie, a small and furry dog who loves to run and play and bask in the glory of his owner, a horrible guy named Doug who routinely abandons him. When he finally dumps Reggie for good, the poor pup finds himself on the frightening and confusing streets of a big city, his only comfort and possession a tennis ball in his mouth. He's befriended by an aggressive fellow stray named Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who shows him around this new world and keeps him safe. Before long, Reggie has grown cynical and realized the true nature of Doug, and with the assistance of Bug and some of his new doggy friends, he hatches a revenge plot: He's going to find home again and he's going to remove Doug's manhood, with his own teeth.

Who is starring in Strays?

With lots of comedy luminaries at the top of the cast list and well into its middle, "Strays" filmmakers assembled one of the funniest groups of actors in recent memory. Most of them happen to be voicing dogs, and not appearing in the flesh. Will Ferrell headlines the film voicing Reggie, a loyal dog who comes to realize his cherished human owner, Doug, is a horrible person (played by Will Forte). Reggie is helped along in his quest for self-discovery and revenge by Bug (Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx), and along the way he meets other pooches Hunter (Randall Park, "The Interview"), and Maggie (Isla Fisher, "Wedding Crashers"). Josh Gad (Broadway's "The Book of Mormon"), Harvey Guillen ("What We Do in the Shadows"), Rob Riggle ("Holey Moley"), and Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") round out the cast, while Dennis Quaid pops up for a brief, self-referential cameo.

But the real stars of "Strays" are the dogs. While some digital trickery was used, those cute dogs who say not-cute things are the real deal. "I would say about 95% of the film is just real dogs," director Josh Greenbaum told The AU Review." "Anytime the animal couldn't do it or it was remotely unsafe, then we went full CG. I don't think you'll be able to tell when watching the film when we did that, which is great."

Who is directing Strays?

"Strays" is by all accounts a kooky, goofy, unpredictable, buddy comedy. The film found a director well-versed in such material in the form of Josh Greenbaum. "Strays" marks his follow-up to the beloved 2021 comedy "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar," with Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. Greebaum's comedy resume is substantial, which includes episodes of "Fresh Off the Boat" and "New Girl." Greenbaum directed from a script by Dan Perrault, best known for co-creating the Netflix mockumentary comedy "American Vandal."

Universal will distribute "Strays" to theaters, as part of a first-look deal (per Variety) with producers Phil Lord and Christoper Miller. At this point, the long-term collaborative duo are both proven hitmakers and comedy tastemakers. After creating the short-lived MTV cult favorite animated series "Clone High," they shepherded the comic big-screen remake of "21 Jump Street," wrote "The Lego Movie," produced Fox's "The Last Man on Earth," and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film for "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."

Is there a trailer for Strays?

The preview clip for "Strays" arrived on the internet on February 8, 2023, and it gives a full overview of both the film's ridiculous plot and its raunchy flavor. "Strays" is the story of Reggie, a scruffy and happy little dog that loves to frolic in the sunshine and chase butterflies and is completely unaware of the fact that his owner Doug is a drunken and abusive monster. He thinks that when Doug drives him miles from home, throws a ball and then quickly drives away is a game. Finally, Reggie doesn't make it back home one day and winds up lost in a city. A tough dog named Bug invites Reggie into his group, who finally make Reggie realize he's a stray, and that Doug doesn't really love him.

He descends into an existential crisis, but it's more complicated than that. Because although Reggie and the gang decide to find Doug and bite off his genitals, they also run wild and enjoy their freedom, doing things dogs don't normally do in movies, like drink alcohol, ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms, turn into cartoons and puppets, and accost garden gnomes. "Strays" looks to be as unleashed as its canine characters.

What will Strays be rated?

Sure, "Strays" is a movie populated with adorable dogs and it looks like a number of classic family movies about lost pets and talking animals. But a quick read-through of the plot line, coupled with a viewing of the film's trailer, casually and thoroughly laced with swear words and audacious and blunt situations, indicates that "Strays" is decidedly not a movie for children. It's a kids' movie for grown-ups who like their comedy a little profane, shocking, and over the top. Even the movie poster tagline hints at light obscenity, imploring viewers to "Go fetch yourself."

The Motion Picture Association of America delivered its letter rating for "Strays" several months in advance of the movie's theatrical release. Accordingly, the advisory organization delivered a verdict designed to keep kids out of the cineplex. The MPAA gave "Strays" an "R" rating, citing its depictions of drug use, sexual content, crudity, and "pervasive" cursing. Any kid under the age of 17 who wants to see this not-a-kids-movie will have to get a parent to take them.