“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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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.