Studio to co-produce pair with Zazen

Paramount Pictures Brazil will co-produce two pics with Jose Padilha and Marcos Prado via their Zazen shingle.

The deal, unveiled Thursday, renews Par Brazil’s relationship with Zazen. It previously co-produced helmer Padilha’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “Elite Squad.”

Par Brazil will invest about 3 million reals ($1.5 million) in Padilha’s drug tale “Nunca antes na historia deste pais” (Never Before in This Country’s History) and $1.5 million in Prado’s political corruption story “Artificial Paradises,” said Jorge Peregrino, Paramount Pictures Intl. senior VP of distribution for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The investment will be made via a tax incentive designed to stimulate co-productions.

Par will have the rights for Brazil and Latin America and an option to buy the world rights. Both pics will be in Portuguese.

“Artificial Paradises,” scripted by Carolina Kotscho, is due to lense in April and open by the end of 2009.

The script for “Never Before” is being written by Luiz Eduardo Soares, who co-wrote the bestseller that inspired “Elite Squad.” It is scheduled to lense in October 2009 and bow in the third quarter of 2010.

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