The pic, adapted from Carolyn Parkhurst's bestselling 2003 novel, concerns a grieving linguistics professor who tries to communicate with his Rhodesian Ridgeback because the dog was the only witness to the death of the man's wife, who fell from a tree in their backyard.
David Heyman's Heyday Prods. shingle, Phillips and Sekretagent's Corey May and Michael Dooma Wendschuh are producing; Focus exec Kahli Small will oversee the project.
Last year, Warner Bros. preemptively picked up Linden and Cory Helms' Things to Do Before I Die for Heyman's shingle to produce. Writing duo also have a blind script commitment to WB that they are currently penning.
Phillips, who applied his trademark comedic touch when directing Starsky & Hutch for WB, is also on track to helm The Associate for Warners.