The New York-based distributor has acquired rights from UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of LD Entertainment and will release the true-life drama on June 9.

Megan Leavey

Kate Mara stars as a young Marine corporal in the K9 unit whose strong bond with her military combat dog saved lives in Iraq.

Leavey was assigned to clean the kennels at the specialised unit and eventually was allowed to train a particularly aggressive dog, leading to their deployment.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film also stars Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford and Common.

Pamela Gray wrote the screenplay to Megan Leavey with Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt. Producers are LD Entertainment’s Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe.

“Megan Leavey’s devotion to our country and to her K9 partner, Rex, are a testament to the strength of our military and the indomitable spirit and honour of our troops,” said Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen. “Her story truly exemplifies the kind of heroism and bravery that will touch each and everyone of us as film-goers.”

Liddell added: “When I first met Megan Leavey five years ago, I was stunned by her courage and dedication to serving our country. Her emotional connection with Rex told a heroic story that I hadn’t seen yet on the big screen and I knew I needed to share her compelling journey. We are excited to reteam with Bleecker Street on another passion project about real life heroes.”