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Roadside Attractions nabs ‘Emperor’

Film unit acquires U.S. distrib rights to Webber pic

Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Peter Webber’s ”Emperor,” which had its world premiere Friday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Roadside will release theatrically and all other U.S. rights will be distributed by partner Lionsgate.

It was the fifth TIFF deal for Roadside, which is 45% owned by Lionsgate.

During the fest, Roadside also acquired Sarah Polley’s doc ”Stories We Tell” and Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions together acquired Joss Whedon’s ”Much Ado About Nothing,” Stuart Blumberg’s ”Thanks for Sharing,” and Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s ”Imogene.”

Emperor” stars Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones as Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Eriko Hatsune. It is produced by Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff.

Film is a co-production between Fellers Film and Krasnoff / Foster Entertainment. Sierra / Affinity is handling international sales and Shochiku will be releasing the film in Japan.

Roadside Attractions is planning a spring 2013 theatrical release.

David Klass and Vera Blasi penned the script for ”Emperor” — set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II.

”Emperor” is the first motion picture production to be granted access to shoot on the Imperial grounds, the main residence of the Emperor of Japan and the Imperial family.

The deal was negotiated by Roadside co-president Howard Cohen and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.

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