'Clifford the Big Red Dog' Stars Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall Talk Sequel Plans (Exclusive)

Clifford the Big Red Dog will be back for more and according to its stars Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall, the lovable pup will be raising the "woof" with another installment (…we'll wait for the "a-paws"). After Paramount Pictures announced it was developing a sequel to the sweet family-friendly adventure, Camp and Whitehall told PopCulture.com exclusively what they hope the next movie will bring their respective characters, Emily Elizabeth — who is originally from the books — and uncle Casey, as they continue their adventures with Clifford.

"Emily's going to be a lot older — I already am a lot older than I was in the first one. I mean I was 12 and now I'm 14 and so I think there's going to be a big time jump," Darby said of the prospective plan. "But I think that it's going to be fun and I think people are going to love it. I'm just excited just to see how it plays out."

Whitehall, who is also a comedian, admitted he was open to bringing more of a youthful glow to his "hot mess man child" character. "I'm going to have a lot of plastic surgery between now and then shooting it," he teased. "So I want to look exactly like I did in the first one and I will pay whatever it costs to make that the case." Jokes aside, Whitehall says he was really pleased to see his character's growth as he heads on a "real journey" with Emily Elizabeth. "He grows in confidence and through his relationship with Emily Elizabeth is able to kind of grow as a person and yeah, as an actor, that's always the best type of character to play, is one that's able to change and develop and surprise people."

While the two remained mum on whether icon John Cleese would return as the mysterious and affable animal rescuer, Mr. Gridwell, the on-screen uncle and niece pair were humbled to be working with him. "He's amazing. He's like an icon and is one of my comedy heroes and the reason that I became a comedian," Whitehall said. "So the opportunity to get to work with a great man was so incredible and I love that he's got this amazing spirit and kindness and he's very funny and still has a kind of mischievousness and I looked forward to every day that I was on set with him."

clifford-the-big-red-dog-2.jpg
(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Camp, who was born decades after Cleese's brilliant comedy troupe Monty Python ended, adds it was really cool to work with him. "He really does have a presence on set and just that magical essence to him and he really is just a comedian," she said. "He's just fun to be around and sweet and so talented at what he does and it was just such an honor to work with him and even just to meet him."

Based on the children's book series written by Norman Bridwell, Clifford the Big Red Dog follows middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Camp) who meets magical animal rescuer Mr. Bridwell (Cleese), who gifts her with an adorable, red puppy. When she discovers her love for the sweet pup has caused him to grow 10 feet high, she turns to her eclectic uncle Casey (Whitehall) for help. Though they try to keep Clifford a secret, a mad scientist (Tony Hale) tries to capture the larger-than-life playful pup, prompting the community to work together to hide Big Red all while trying to minimize his attention. 

Clifford was brought to life by the CGI team and puppeteers, an experience Camp and Whitehall really enjoyed, with Camp admitting it was "really cool" and piqued her interest in terms of filmmaking. "I really enjoy just learning about how that works and then how they create him and things like that. And so it definitely was a really different experience, but so much fun," she said as Whitehall chimed in that the "physical element" with the props in place was very helpful for the two. "Clifford's head on a stick, which they used for the scene where I see 10-foot Clifford for the first time — it was very easy to act terrified because it was a genuine sight to behold. It felt like something straight out of a horror film, some guy from the props department holding beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog's head on a pike," he said. "That scream was definitely an authentic one that I let out."

Clifford the Big Red Dog has grossed over $52.1 million worldwide with $46.6 million at the domestic box office and streamed exclusively on Paramount+. According to Variety, Paramount Pictures did not provide any tangible metrics but said the film was one of the "most-watched original films to date" on its streaming platform. With the love between Emily Elizabeth and Clifford being an incredibly charming aspect of the film's appeal, Camp says it's that element that really elevates the movie beyond the traditional family film. 

"They love each other so much, and I think what makes [their love] strong is that they see themselves in each other a lot. I think they have a lot in common and they're there for each other and they learn from each other and Emily didn't really have very many friends," she said. "She found this puppy who was also alone and so that they are there for each other and it's really special to see how they grow and how they grow together and their relationship throughout the movie."

 Clifford the Big Red Dog is available to own on digital Dec. 14 and Blu-ray/DVD on Feb. 1, 2022.