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O'Toole, Northam set for 'Spanley'

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Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Northam will star alongside Sam Neill and Bryan Brown in "Dean Spanley," the sophomore feature from Toa Fraser, whose debut film -- "No.2" -- won the Audience Prize (World Cinema) at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

Producing partners Matthew Metcalfe and Alan Harris said the movie is scheduled to begin shooting in November from a script by Alan Sharp ("Rob Roy").

The production is financed by Aramid Capital Partners, the NZ Film Commission, Lipsync Prods. and Screen East's content investment fund and is set up as a U.K.-New Zealand co-production.

International sales are being handled by Kathleen Drumm at NZ Film, the sales arm of the NZFC.

Set in Edwardian England, where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, "Spanley" reveals just how deep an Englishman's love for his dog can go.

Oscar-winner David Parfitt ("Shakespeare In Love") and Finola Dwyer ("Backbeat") will executive produce.

Metcalfe of General Film Corp. and Harris of Atlantic Film Prods. previously combined to produce the horror feature "The Ferryman."

"Spanley" is an Atlantic Film Group and General Film Corp. production.