Arthur And The King -A true story that redefines what victory, loyalty, and friendship truly mean

Legends are about challenges, not convenience. As word spread, the agonizing ups and downs
of Lindnord’s encounter with Arthur during an Adventure Racing World Championship began to
captivate the world. Their story was potent enough to inspire two award-winning documentaries,
and now, the family-friendly adventure film, Arthur The King.

Over the course of 10 days and 435 miles, an unbreakable bond is forged between the film’s pro
adventure racer Michael and the scrappy street dog he dubs Arthur. The incredible true story
follows Michael (Mark Wahlberg) desperate for one last chance towin, as he convinces a team of top athletes (Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel and Ali Suliman) to join him at the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team is pushed to its outer limits of endurance in the race, it is Arthur who redefines what victory, loyalty, and friendship truly mean.

Michael is a hardcore professional athlete, focused on one thing: winning. He spends his family’s
life savings on one last shot at the Adventure Racing World Championship, a victory that has
eluded him for nearly 20 years. It’s now or never. Early in this last hurrah, he has a chance
encounter with a wounded dog. He feels a pang but cannot allow himself to be distracted. To win,
he must keep his head in the race. As a veteran team captain, he knows this better than anyone.
But his heart begs to differ. And so does the dog, who has a survivor’s instinct as keen as Michael’s.

(Please Note: Mikael Lindnord met Arthur while competing on a Swedish team during the 2014
Adventure Racing World Championship in Ecuador. Michael, the film’s American character based
on Lindnord, competes in a dramatization of the Adventure Racing World Championship, which
the filmmakers set in 2018 in the Dominican Republic.)

“I gravitate towards true stories and inspirational stories, and this was probably one of the more
physical movies I’ll ever do,” said Mark Wahlberg who portrays Michael, the character based on real-life racer Mikael Lindnord, and also steps in as a producer.

“But you suck that up when you feel it could be an impactful story. This is more than an action movie.
It’s the relationships, and it’s a character piece.”

Lindnord wrote a best-selling book, Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home in
2016, and a follow-up in 2017, Arthur and Friends: The Incredible Story of a Rescue Dog, and How
Our Dogs Rescue Us (both co-authored with Val Hudson). ESPN’s 13-minute documentary with Arthur and his teammates debuted in 2017 with jaw-dropping footage from the race in Ecuador as well as interviews in Sweden. A 22-minute version later followed.

The documentary captivated both Wahlberg and his family. “I saw the piece on ESPN E:60 first,
and thought it was remarkable,” he said. The ESPN documentary stopped executive producer
Dorothy Canton in her tracks. She happened to see it in a hotel bar during production of Den of
Thieves in Atlanta. Instantly obsessed, she urged Den of Thieves producers Mark Canton (her
father) and Tucker Tooley to pursue the rights. “Seeing Mikael and Arthur on the screen, I felt their
story had to be told wider than ESPN,” she said. Soon, Tooley was also being hounded by his
wife, producer Tessa Tooley. “She’s a passionate advocate for animals.”

The Cantons’ and Tooleys’ passion for Arthur’s saga impressed Lindnord. “From the beginning, a
lot of producers wanted to do this story,” he said. “I don’t remember how many pitches we got. But
I remember the meeting with Dorothy, Mark, Tucker and Tessa…we chose to go with them
instantly. I’m from Sweden, so we are pretty naïve. We don’t really understand how hard it is to
make a movie, but we know we picked the right team to work with.”

Ali Suliman as Chik, Mark Wahlberg as Michael, Nathalie Emmanuel as Olivia and Simu Liu as Leo in Arthur The King. Photo Credit: Carlos Rodriguez

Wahlberg was onboard soon after. “It was definitely worth the uphill push to get it made,” he said.
“Mark has his own personal story about not being a dog person and overnight becoming one,”
Tooley noted. “I think that helped him identify with this film.”

The filmmakers prioritized character and heart in casting the teammates. “We wanted people who
could capture the emotional aspects of these characters – great actors as opposed to great
athletes,” said Wahlberg. “We could figure out how to make it look good if we had to, but luckily
we found people who are into the physicality and are also fantastic actors.”

Like Wahlberg, director Simon Cellan Jones was attracted to the film’s dual aspects. “I loved that
it was a thrilling adventure story – that gets derailed by a dog,” said Jones. “It starts as a film about
the obsession of winning and then shows you that there are other ways to win. It is also about how
a dog sees these people. A homeless, destitute creature who is very sick and very tired, this dog
ends up having the same sort of qualities the racers have. The determination, the refusal to quit,
this sort of tough, mad obsession with keeping up and getting where they need to be.”

Wahlberg, an extremely disciplined, fit and seasoned actor, found that portraying an adventure
racer was a new kind of challenge. “It takes a different toughness to compete at that level and
endure that amount of pain and suffering for that distance and time. You engage a different gear.”
Wahlberg likened it to SEAL training (he played real-life Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell in Lone

The respect was mutual. “Mark Wahlberg is a dream actor in my world,” said Lindnord. “I feel
comfortable having him play me. He really pushed it. The first day running in the mountains he
twisted his knee but fought through it to make this movie. He’s the real deal. I’ve never seen a
person work that hard to train and push and get his team supporting him for the journey.”

Director Simon Cellan Jones is a BAFTA-winning British director who got his start in the mailroom
at 20th Century Fox in London and then worked his way up the production ranks at the BBC. After
a stint as a photographer for Beirut’s Daily Star, Cellan Jones entered the acclaimed directors’
course at the BBC. As a freelance director in television, he went on to amass a wide array of credits
including the award-winning miniseries “Our Friends in the North” and the BAFTA-winning first
season of “Cracker.” Cellan Jones’ first feature film, Some Voices, starring Daniel Craig and Kelly Macdonald, was selected for inclusion in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the BAFTA’s Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer. His other U.K. credits include the BAFTA-nominated telefilms “The Trial of Tony Blair,” “The Queen’s Sister,” “Storm Damage”
(which also won the RTS Award for Best Single Drama), and the Italia Prize winner “Eroica.”
Cellan Jones further cemented himself as a go-to director with his work on U.S. productions such
as David Simon’s “Generation Kill,” which was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards. His work can be
found across many highly watched series over the years, including “Treme,” “Boardwalk Empire,”
“How to Make It in America,” “The Expanse,” “Jessica Jones,” “Ballers” and more. Cellan Jones
also directed the pilot for “Shooter,” starring Ryan Phillippe, which ran for three seasons. In the
U.K. he served as executive producer and directed the first four episodes of the award-winning
miniseries “Years and Years,” starring Emma Thompson. Cellan Jones recently directed the season two premiere of the Apple TV+ series “See,” starring Jason Momoa, and the pilot of the series “The Diplomat,” starring Keri Russell.

Filmmaker Michael Brandt is an undeniable dynamic creative force whose passion for storytelling
exceeds artistic and narrative boundaries. With a distinguished career that has highlighted his
arsenal of skills for writing, directing, and producing, Brandt has left a truly meaningful mark on the
entertainment industry, and continues to do so. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, later relocating to Chicago and Kansas City during his formative years, Brandt’s venture into the world of cinema began at a young age with a dedicated love, passion, and admiration for the art form, all of which he has carried into his own work. He meticulously honed his craft at Baylor University, where he pursued both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in film, eventually earning a master’s degree. It was during this time at Baylor
that Michael Brandt’s talent caught the attention of both his peers and mentors, leading him to
being prestigiously named Baylor’s Alumni of the Year in 2014. The award was a much deserved
and hard-earned recognition of his fantastic contributions to the field and his steadfast support and
solidarity for aspiring filmmakers. Brandt’s cinematic expertise has been embodied through an impressive repertoire of films that have captivated audiences on a worldwide scale. From the gripping western 3:10 to Yuma to the adrenaline-fueled thriller 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the action-packed Wanted, Brandt’s screenplays have proven to resonate with audiences across diverse genres, collectively amassing a staggering income of over half a billion dollars at the global box office. Brandt eventually made the transition from penning compelling narratives and multifaceted characters to stepping behind the camera to take the helm of his directorial debut The Double, showcasing his versatility and vision as a
filmmaker and an overall creative. In addition to his success on the big screen, Brandt has left his signature creative mark on television as the co-creator of the acclaimed series “Chicago Fire” and its subsequent spinoffs, including “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Med,” and “Chicago Justice.” Michael has a unique ability to create heart-pounding drama with authentic character portrayals, with these shows becoming
staples of primetime television, further solidifying Brandt’s reputation as a master storyteller.
Looking ahead, Michael Brandt continues to push and redesign the boundaries of storytelling with
a slate of exciting projects which are currently in development. Collaborating with legends such as
Doug Liman, Jamie Foxx, and Idris Elba, Brandt remains at the forefront of innovation, poised to
deliver captivating narratives that resonate with audiences on a global scale. As he continues to
weave his cinematic tapestry, one thing remains certain: the best is yet to come from this
groundbreaking storyteller.