Meridian Entertainment has picked up Chinese theatrical distribution rights for Megan Leavey, starring Kate Mara. Meridian will release the pic, which is produced and financed by LD Entertainment, through its distribution arm, United Entertainment Partners, in the fourth quarter of this year.

Sierra/Affinity handles international sales on the title and deal was negotiated on behalf of the company by Nicholas Sherry.

Megan Leavey is based on the true-life story of young Marine Corporal (Mara) whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish) directs from a screenplay by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt. Project also stars Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford and Common.

Meridian, which was founded in 2013 by journalist and film industry vet Jennifer Dong, recently inked a multi-year multi-picture agreement to co-finance all Blumhouse films made separately of its first-look deal with Universal Pictures. Their first joint venture is a modern retelling of the classic do tale Benji. The company also has a first-look partnership with James Schamus through his Symbolic Exchange banner.