Showbiz can be ruff. [self-immolates, leaps off of nearest cliff] Let’s try that again, 50% less hacky:

In the thick of a varied career that’s brought him multiple Academy Award nominations, Bradley Cooper has nearly found a role he can really sink his canines into. The respected actor of dramatic and comedic roles, who has collaborated with such fine filmmakers as Derek Cianfrance, David O. Russell, and Clint Eastwood, is in talk to lend his vocal stylings to some sort of Buddhist dog in an upcoming adaptation of the popular novel A Dog’s Purpose. Written in 2010 by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose tracks the journey of a single canine as it passes in and out of several different lives, searching for its truest purpose in life with each new reincarnation. So for those of you who draw a hard-and-fast line on movies wherein the dog dies: the dog dies. And dies, and dies, and keeps on dying.

Reviews were split on the actual quality of the novel, but it was unilaterally agreed that this is a potent provoker of ugly-cry sessions. And so who better to direct it than expert manipulator of emotions Lasse Hallström, director of such heart-stranglers as Dear John and Safe Haven. (And, once upon a pre-Sparks time, Oscar contenders The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.)

Cooper has entered negotiations to voice the dog, but the exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter that broke this story made it crystal-clear that A Dog’s Purpose is not, strictly speaking, a talking-dog movie. Cooper will simply provide the dog’s running inner monologue, not actually dub words into the dog’s mouth. As if any film would be silly enough to try something like that.

Now, as critical consumers of pop-culture, we’re honor-bound not to levy judgement on any work we haven’t personally seen. But c’mon! The idea of a dog that thinks like a human!? How whimsical can you get?