“The Whale” picked up for U.S. release

The Whale, a retooled version of Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit's Saving Luna exec produced by Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson, will come to U.S. theaters via indie distributor Paladin.
June 29, 2011

The Whale, a Canadian documentary by Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit, has been picked up for U.S. releasing by indie distributor Paladin.

Besides the story about a young orca whale who tries to make friends with humans off the B.C. coast, the big draw for The Whale is narration by actor Ryan Reynolds, who executive produced the picture with actress Scarlett Johansson.

The Whale serves as a retooled version of Chisholm and Parfit’s original doc about the orca, 2007′s Saving Luna. Upon announcing Reynolds and Johansson’s involvement in 2010, the¬†filmmakers said the updated version would not only feature new narration from Vancouver-born Reynolds but also a streamlined narrative, added footage and new sequences.

Last year’s divorce between Reynolds and Johansson prompted tabloid speculation about how the couple would divvy up the rights to the Canadian documentary, among other joint assets.

The film, which has financing from Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Television Fund, will be released into U.S. theaters starting in the late summer.

From Playback Daily, with files from Barry Walsh

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Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.