Watch: ‘Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank’ trailer teases a stacked voice cast

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After nearly eight years of development, production, and being passed around studios and directors, the trailer for Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (formerly known as Blazing Samurai), has finally dropped, along with a summer release date. 

The animated comedy film is loosely based on the 1974 black comedy Blazing Saddles, and follows young canine Hank (Michael Cera) and his aspirations of becoming a samurai with the help of retired samurai master Jimbo (Samuel L. Jackson). Hank’s quest for sword proficiency comes not a moment too soon, as dastardly feline warlord Ika Chu (Ricky Gervais) plans to decimate Hank’s village with the help of his evil samurai cat army. 

The trailer indicates an extremely tongue-in-cheek family feature, complete with some on-the-nose dialogue, meta-verging awareness of the film’s training montage, and fart jokes. 

Beyond that, the film boasts a particularly impressive voice cast. Alongside the likes of Cera, Gervais, and Jackson are names such as George Takei, Michelle Yeoh, Gabriel Iglesias, and Mel Brooks, who directed the aforementioned Blazing Saddles.

It’s been a long road for the film, having first been announced in early 2015 with a projected 2017 release date, which was complicated by the closure of Arc Productions in 2016, who was responsible for most of the film’s animation at the time. By 2019, it was in its first animatic stage and was set for a 2021 release, which did not come to fruition. Paramount Pictures acquired the film earlier this year, and with a trailer now posted, it looks like Paws of Fury will finally be hitting the big screen.

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank will release on July 15 later this year.