Universal Pictures International (UPI) has acquired distribution rights for Barney’s Version for the UK and Spain, producer Robert Lantos told Screen.

Serendipity Point Films’ Lantos said UPI president David Kosse’s “enthusiasm for our film is the best guarantee that it will be brilliantly distributed in these major territories.”

UPI will release the film in the UK and Spain on Jan 7.

The deal was negotiated by Christian Grass, president of International Production and Acquisitions for UPI, and John Fremes of Essential Entertainment on behalf of Serendipity Point Films.

It took Lantos (Eastern Promises, Being Julia) over a decade to bring the late Mordecai Richler’s prize-winning novel to the screen.

Directed by Richard J. Lewis, Barney’s Version features a stellar ensemble cast — Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman and Bruce Greenwood – alongside Paul Giamatti as the curmudgeonly yet loveable Barney.

Barney’s Version’s cast and creators arrive for a Gala screening at TIFF tonight after the film had its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival last week.

Barney’s Version is co-produced by Domenico Procacci, Lyse Lafontaine and Ari Lantos. Mark Musselman is executive producer.

It is a Serendipity Point Films production in association with Rome’s Fandango and Montreal-based Lyla Films.

John Fremes, President of World Wide Distribution, Essential Entertainment is handling international sales.

Medusa will distribute in Italy and eOne in Canada.