Filming is underway for the upcoming feature film, Leavey, a biopic on Iraq war hero, Marine Corporal Megan Leavey, and her Explosive Detection Canine, Rex. The movie will chronicle the story of Leavey and Rex in Iraq and Leavey’s struggle to adopt Rex in the years following their deployments.
Leavey and Rex served two tours in Iraq together and, in 2006, were both wounded by the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED). After going through rehabilitation together, Leavey was presented a Purple Heart award and was honorably discharged. Corporal Leavey went on to work as an EDC handler for MSA while Rex was deemed well enough to continue with a new Marine handler. When Rex later developed facial palsy and was unable to continue working, his fate was uncertain. Unfortunately, regulations and laws can make it difficult for retired military dogs to be adopted, and canines are often left abroad in shelters or put to sleep.
But Leavey wouldn’t stand to not be reunited with her partner. It was a long, hard fight, but backed by support from veterans groups, Senator Chuck Schumer, and a petition that garnered over 20,000 signatures, Leavey was able to reunite with Rex with a successful adoption in 2012.
Rex spent eight months with Leavey at her home in New York before passing in December 2012. Leavey stated that she was grateful for this time that they had together and glad that Rex enjoyed a happy retirement where he was able to relax, swim, and play in his first snowfall. “He was one hell of a dog, one tough ass Marine, and one very special soul”.
The film, set to be released sometime in 2016, will tell Leavey’s story of courage and loyalty to Rex. The film began principal photography in October 2015 and will star Kate Mara as Megan Leavey. It is being directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, who gained recognition for the documentary Blackfish, and will also feature Tom Felton, Common, Edie Falco, and Will Patton.
MSA is proud to see Megan Leavey, a former MSA EDC Handler, being recognized for her dedicated service and celebrated for her accomplishments. We look forward to the release of the movie and are excited to see Megan Leavey’s honorable story being told!