Warner Bros. has picked up screen rights for The Lonely Dog, a limited-edition book of paintings done by Queenstown artist Ivan Clarke, and plans to turn the dog tale into a CG animated film.

According to Variety, Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster will produce through Goldsman's WB-based Weed Road banner.

Clarke hatched the project when he left his dog alone, caught the look on the pooch's face and painted a fully clothed character with a lonely look on its mug.

He made a series of paintings that caught the attention of Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor, winner of five Oscars for his visual effects work on The Lord of the Rings films and King Kong.

Together, Clarke and Taylor hatched a mythology for the character that became Lonely Dog.

Only 90 of the oversized books were published, selling for as much as $6,000 each.

No production date has been set.