Universal Pictures International (UPI) has acquired a host of territories on The Troll Hunter, the verite-style CGI creature feature from Norway which caused a sensation after its secret screening at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas last month.

UPI has taken rights in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia (including CIS and Baltics), Austria, Switzerland and Benelux.

Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing snapped up worldwide rights excluding Europe after Fantastic Fest and its trailer has caused an online stir along the lines of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity.

Svensk Filmindustri will release the film in Norway on Oct 29 and Magnet plans to open it in the US next year.

UPI’s Worldwide Acquistions Manager Negeen Yazdi and UPI’s Director of European Creative JJ Lousberg brokered the Universal deal with producer John M Jacobsen of Filmkameratene.

“Our local office in Scandinavia forwarded the trailer to us in London and Negeen and JJ really went after it,” said UPI’s president of international production and acquisition Christian Grass, who announced the deal today. “It’s one of the most original and highly anticipated projects in the marketplace right now. It’s innovative in terms of storytelling but has fantastic special effects and could work really well, especially in dubbing markets.”

Shot in the hand-held style of The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, TheTroll Hunter is the story of group of Norwegian film students who set off in search of the mysterious giant trolls, after discovering that the government has been covering up their existence for years.

Commercials director Andre Ovredal made his feature debut on the film which stars Norwegian comedian Otto Jespersen.

Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo of Filmkameratene produce.
“The trolls of Norway are delighted that their future is in the hands of Universal Pictures,” said Jacobsen. “They know that Universal has made big stars of other creatures of the night like the Wolf Man, Dracula and his vampires, The Mummy and many others. Universal was also the first company to offer me a job way back in 1962 so for both the trolls and myself this is where we belong. We are really happy about this deal.”
Founded in 1986, Filmkameratene is one of Norway’s premier production companies with credits including 2008 blockbuster Max Manus, Sophie’s World and Sleepwalker.