Distrib nabs Naomi Watts-Sean Penn starrer

Summit Entertainment has picked up North American distribution rights to Doug Liman’s Naomi Watts-Sean Penn topliner “Fair Game,” about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Summit also has picked up rights for Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia, Japan and CIS.

Acquisition ends days of buzz about a possible domestic deal for the film, which attracted renewed incepted into the Cannes film festival. “Fair Game” is the only U.S. title in main competition.

CAA packaged the film and repped domestic rights. Pic was financed by River Road Entertainment, Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.

Summit was a natural fit for the pic, both because Summit Intl. is handling foreign sales and because Summit has embraced serious dramas including “The Hurt Locker” and “The Ghost Writer.”

In 2003, Plame’s identity as a CIA agent was leaked to the press after her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly criticized the Bush administration’s rational for the Iraq war. She became the center of a political scandal and eventually resigned from the agency in 2005.

“Fair Game” is based on Plame’s memoir of the same name, and also draws from Wilson’s book “The Politics of Truth.” Adapted script was penned by Jez Butterworth and John Butterworth.

Summit co-chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman called the pic “a very strong, engaging thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.”

Producers are River Road’s Bill Pohlad, Zucker Prods.’ Janet and Jerry Zucker, Weed Road Pictures’ Akiva Goldsman, Liman and Jez Butterworth.

“We choose our partners based on a like-minded philosophy. Participant, River Road and Summit share our commitment to supporting films that not only entertain, but also raise awareness of issues and encourage social change,” Imagenation CEO Ed Borgerding said.

Cast of “Fair Game” includes Michael Kelly, Noah Emmerich, Bruce McGill, Sam Shepard, Polly Holiday and Tom McCarthy.

“Fair Game” was originally set up at Warner Bros., but it was put into turnaround after a number of serious-minded dramas failed to woo auds at the box office.

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