As any bad observational comedian will tell you, you can wait all year for a Berkley Breathed news story to come along, and then two will come along at once. One of these is from a nameable – and therefore, visibly verifiable – source, and the other… I can’t tell you who told me. So take that one with a pinch of salt if you want.

Okay, story one. Coming Soon have been speaking to Dan Fogler at the Fanboys press junket and he let about his joining the cast of Mars Needs Moms. Set to be Robert Zemeckis‘ next project after A Christmas Carol, you’ll probably be not at all surprised to hear it wil be another motion caption movie.

I think history will bear me out when I say that Zemeckis is absolutely at the forefront of something here. By the time he’s done terraforming Uncanny Valley you’ll be able to walk right up to any of the inhabitants, look into their eyes and see the depths of their souls. He isn’t going to give up his motion capture mission, and I love him for it.

Moms is to be based upon a book by Berkley Breathed, creator of Bloom County. It’s a moral tale about young Milo who doesn’t appreciate his mother until the martians come to claim her for themselves, to “drive them to soccer practice and pizza parties”. Little green gits.

I fired a quick IM off to a Berkley Breathed aficionado/movie-head leak-mouth I know to ask what they might know about Fogler’s casting… and they came up blank. But they did tell me another interesting tidbit that they were surprised I hadn’t surmised for myself. Well… sorry.

According to them, Gore Verbinski‘s Rango is an adaptation of Breathed’s Flawed Dogs. That book has apparently very little narrative to speak of, just a cast of odd dog characters, but Verbinski brewed a story up himself and set John Logan to scripting it. So this tells us that Depp’s mysterious household pet is none other than man’s best friend, Canis lupus familiaris. My source suggests that Isla Fisher may be playing a human role, one Heidy Strudelberg, but stressed that was a guess based upon nothing more than familiarity with the book (something I sadly don’t have – do you?) and I did have to check they meant what I thought they meant because Google seemed to be suggesting Strudelberg had actually written the book. She hadn’t – she’s a fiction.

A little bit longer on Google and I saw that Jim Hill long ago announced Verbinski’s optioning of Flawed Dogs. Also compelling evidence. I should spend more time in IM windows, I reckon. Always seems to turn up gold.

The book’s full title is Flawed Dogs: The Year End Leftovers at the Piddleton “Last Chance” Dog Pound, from which you can probably glean some plot, or at least premise, information.

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