Par takes Japanese rights for ‘Countdown’

Docu explores dangers of nuclear weapons

Paramount Pictures has snapped up Japanese distribution rights to Lucy Walker’s “Countdown to Zero.”

Doc, which preemed in Sundance last year, explores the dangers of nuclear weapons and exposes a variety of present-day threats, with comment from international experts and world leaders including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the U.K.’s former prime minister Tony Blair. It is narrated by Gary Oldman and features music from Pearl Jam.

Docu was produced by Quentin Tarantino’s longtime producing partner, Lawrence Bender. Pic was financed by Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, in conjunction with the World Security Institute.

Pic, which was recently launched at the Tokyo Film Festival, is skedded for a spring release. It’s out in theaters currently in the U.S. through Magnolia Pictures. Dogwoof will release it in the fall in Blighty.

The deal was negotiated by Clare Crean for the Works Intl., which handled international sales for the pic, and Alexei Boltho for Paramount Pictures worldwide acquisitions group.

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