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Paramount Global Content Distribution really loves its BlackBerry.
The studio has picked up the new comedy from Matt Johnson, on the rise and fall of the eponymous Canadian smartphone company, for most of the world outside of North America.
Jay Baruchel stars in BlackBerry alongside an ensemble cast including Glenn Howerton, Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek, Rich Sommer, Martin Donovan, Michael Ironside and Johnson. The film will have its world premiere in competition at the Berlin FIlm Festival on Friday.
Paramount will roll out BlackBerry worldwide outside the U.S., where IFC Films is releasing, Canada, where it will roll out via Elevation Picture, and a handful of other territories. XYZ Films, which co-financed the movie and handled international rights, inked the deal with the studio on the eve of Berlin’s European Film Market. XYZ also closed deals for the film with Falcon Films for the Middle East, NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia and Pasatiempo Pictures for CIS.
It is unclear whether Paramount is planning a theatrical bow for BlackBerry or if the film is heading to its online platform Paramount+.
Johnson co-wrote BlackBerry with Matthew Miller, based on the nonfiction best-seller Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry from Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff. Miller also produced, alongside Niv Fichman, Fraser Ash and Kevin Krikst.
The book shows how the Canadian startup, launched by Research in Motion (RIM) in Waterloo, Ontario, became a global force in the tech world with its then-groundbreaking smartphone with its distinctive clam shape and thumbs-only mini-keyboard. But the launch of Apple’s iPhone and the rise of touch-screen technology spelled the end for the company, which were unable to compete.
Rhombus Media and Zapruder Films produced the movie, with the participation of Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates, in association with CBC Films, IPR.VC and XYZ Films, which also acted as an executive producer.
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