The dog named Arthur changed the life of adventure racer Mikael Lindnord in so many different ways through their journey together and their bond. The inspirational story will be adapted as a narrative film, Arthur the King, starring Mark Wahlberg next year.
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Here is the official synopsis of Arthur the King:
Over the course of ten days and 435 miles, an unbreakable bond is forged between pro adventure racer Michael Light (Mark Wahlberg) and a scrappy street dog companion dubbed Arthur. Based on an incredible true story, Arthur the King follows Light, desperate for one last chance to win, as he convinces a sponsor to back him and team of athletes (Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Ali Suliman) for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic. As the team is pushed to their outer limits of endurance in the race, Arthur redefines what victory, loyalty, and friendship truly mean.
The film also stars Simu Liu, Juliet Rylance, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ali Suliman, and Paul Guilfoyle.
LRM Online’s Gig Patta participated in a small roundtable discussion with former adventure racing competitor and author Mikael Lindnord prior to the official launch of the film’s trailer. He talked about Arthur and his influences into his life.
Mikael Lindnord is a retired adventure racer and motivational speaker. During his adventure racing career, he participated in 10 World Championships as a contestant and as an organizer for one event over a span of twenty years. In 1997, he made his debut within the field of multisport at the Are Extreme Challenge. Today, he gives lectures on the winning attitude and attaining one’s goals in life.
Arthur the King is in theaters next year on March 22, 2024.
Read the roundtable interview below. Let us know what you think of the discussion.
Question: Michael, thank you very much for joining us here. We’re very excited to talk to you. My first question for you would be how your relationship with Arthur changed from that first day that you met him when you were starting the race compared to those final few days with him.
Michael Lindnord: We actually had been in the race for four days when I met him for the first time in Ecuador for the Adventure Racing World Championship. To be honest, the first time I saw him in the corner of my eye–I didn’t want him to come close to me. He looked really, really bad. He smelled really bad from the wounds on his back. Don’t come close to me.
At that moment, I ate some meatballs and he stood in the same place about two and a half yards from me. So I gave him some meatballs on the ground and he got 10 seconds of my attention. Then we ran out into the jungle. A while before, I put on my headlamp as it got dark, and I looked back and saw if someone was joining. It was just this stray dog. We stopped for a moment and then he came up to us. I was like, “Are you really going to join us for this jungle trip?” We still have 48 hours left of racing. And the jungle was so remote that we weren’t sure where we were on the map. So that was the first time we met together.
Now we can fast forward for six years since we had been together to when he passed away. It was like we were the same person in a way. I never have a dog before. There was a way we communicated. We didn’t really talk to each other, not even look at each other. It was more like he knew what I wanted and he did the opposite. He was just not attached to me but to the whole family.
When Arthur left us, it was a big sorrow for the whole family. On this date, even if the kids didn’t understand all the fuss with the movie, we talked about Arthur, not daily, but every week some memories. He had a huge impact on our family. It’s very hard to describe. I will have his memories for life.
Question: A lot of people when they first encounter this story might be so grateful for you on what you were able to provide for this beautiful dog. Deep down inside, you learned just as much from him as he was able to be taken care of you as his new human. Now that you’ve had some time to reflect, what was the greatest lesson that Arthur taught you?
Michael Lindnord: Life. We spent a lot of adventures together. Even if I come from adventure racing background, I’m used to be out there a lot. But when the kids grew up, the adventures are not on the same level that you used to be. Arthur wanted to do is to be out there with a family. It doesn’t matter what adventure we were doing like picking berries or go skiing. He enjoyed it so much. Thanks to Arthur, we did a lot of everyday adventures.
We kind of try to show people what Arthur was in his life. We did it on social media and Instagram. We can see how much he affected people. I would say that’s his biggest impact for me. He was a super kind soul in a way. He never bite the kids or never did anything to the kids. You know how kids are. I have some great photos with Arthur playing dress up with trousers and shoes as the kids play with him. He enjoyed it so much. That’s the greatest memories for me. We miss him every day.
Question: What would you say would be the hardest part about being able to finish your race once you met Arthur along the way?
Michael Lindnord: I wouldn’t say it was because of Arthur. Maybe just a little bit. [Laughs] We gave him the food that we might have needed in that jungle. So we almost didn’t make it. One time we had to see the doctors to the IV. That stop was seven hours before we continue on our adventure. However, it wasn’t because of Arthur, it was because of the struggle, the hardship of the race. Then we were supposed to paddle to the finish. When I took like maybe 10 strokes, I heard the volunteers and the staff members of the world championship yelled, “You can’t bring the dog cause it’s too dangerous.” We were to paddle through the river with tides. I understand that it was pretty crazy to do this championship. In 20 meters, I heard a splash. I turned my head and saw Arthur in the [water]. He was not a great swimmer. We stopped the boat. I grabbed him so he was my lap. I remembered this like it was yesterday, that he needed to feel that he can belong here. That I feel the love. I was little bit afraid that he would bite meor give me some kind of disease. In that moment, I decided that I couldn’t do it halfway. Today I’m very proud of that moment. It was not that easy.
Question: What was your family and friends’ reaction? Did they think you were insane for rescuing this dog? Or were they mostly supportive?
Michael Lindnord: Have you seen the movie yet? I personally have not yet. The things that you’re going to see in the movie is so close to the real thing. The people going see the movie will see the dog who played Arthur is really like him. So many things happen in the movie that are so accurate to the real truth, especially on the actors who played myself and my wife in the movie. To be honest, people didn’t understand what I was doing when taking Arthur back home. I didn’t know either. I have no idea that I’m going to sit here and talk about a movie.
Nevertheless, I didn’t know I’m going to write a book or two book about this adventure. I had no idea. I was a professional athlete. I was racing for the gold medals. I was racing around the world to be the best. Arthur came along and changed everything. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that is everything is not about winning. The lesson that people will from the movie is that it’s more what you do with your life and the family. When you go see this movie with your close friends and family, I can bet a lot of money that when you come out from the cinemas–the first thing you do is hug them.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Lionsgate