Comic readers have long been fans of Lucky the Pizza Dog, and the rest of the world is about to join them. The monocular canine made his debut in Hawkeye this week and while he didn’t do much other than eat a slice of pizza and look cute, that’s good enough for me.
He’s played by Golden Retriever Jolt, who has her own Instagram page with nearly 13 million followers. His bio lists her as an “animal actor, agility, dock diving, rally, and canicross” performer, though they should almost certainly add “very good girl” to that resume. To mark her ascension to worldwide stardom (and her birthday), she’s been pictured with her very own bow-(wow) and arrow. Check it out:
Jolt has every right to be proud of herself. Hawkeye had planned to realize the character entirely in CGI due to the fact she’s blind in one eye, though Jolt proved so impressive and charismatic in the audition that they decided to simply add the CGI closed eye in post.
Hawkeye director Rhys Thomas praised Jolt in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying:
“Jolt did an amazing job. There are very specific things the dog needs to do. She was great. I was definitely dubious, and I had images of a CG dog. Genuinely, I can’t think of a moment we lost time because of Jolt. She was on it.”
He continued lavishing praise on her, saying she was “just a consummate professional. A little easier than some of these folks, to be honest with you.”
But there’s a melancholy story behind this adorable character. Matt Fraction created Lucky after his Golden Retriever Captain Applejack had to be put down shortly before he began work on his Hawkeye comics run. Lucky is intended to be a tribute to his own dog, so it should mean a lot to him to see Jolt in action on the big screen.
As the action hots up in Hawkeye expect more Lucky very soon. Here’s hoping the MCU take on this charming canine can match what we know and love from the comics.
Hawkeye airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.