Toronto 2011: Universal UK Picks Up South African Box Office Hit 'Spud'


TORONTO -- Universal UK has snapped up all U.K. rights to South African box office hit Spud, starring John Cleese and South African-born Troye Sivan (X Man Origins: Wolverine).

Sales agent The Little Film Co. also closed deals for the coming-of-age tale for Scandinavia (Another World), Australia (Pinnacle) and the Middle East (Front Row).

Sivan plays the Spud of the title, a boy about to begin his first year at an elite boys-only private boarding school in South Africa. Cleese plays Spud's English teacher, one of the school's many eccentrics. The year is 1990 and Nelson Mandela is about to be released from prison, changing South Africa forever.

Spud has been a box office phenomenon back home, taking around $4 million in its first weekend, knocking Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2 off the No. 1 spot in the territory. A Spud sequel has already begun preproduction.

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