Bradley Cooper Was Supposed to Star in 'A Dog's Purpose'

According to a knowledgeable source, the star decided not to lend his voice after seeing an early cut of the film.
Joe Lederer/Universal; Getty Images
Josh Gad (inset) replaced Bradley Cooper, who was at one point in talks to do the lead voice role in 'A Dog's Purpose.'

When Bradley Cooper drops out of a film, Josh Gad isn't typically the next call. But he was when the American Sniper star opted out of voicing the pooch in A Dog's Purpose.

According to a knowledgeable source, Cooper decided not to lend his voice after seeing an early cut of the Lasse Hallstrom film. However, a rep for Cooper says that isn't accurate. Either way, it was a fortunate turn for Cooper given the film's PR woes sparked by a leaked video of a stressed German shepherd performing a stunt in water. (The resulting outcry was addressed by the film's producer Gavin Polone in an essay for THR.)

Gad, an owner of a rescue dog, was one of the first to weigh in: "I am shaken to see any animal put in a situation against its will." Cooper, also a rescue dog owner, need not worry about animals being harmed on set for his next voice role: His Rocket the Raccoon on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a CGI creation. 

This story first appeared in the Feb. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.