Possibly one of South Africa’s best loved contemporary novels is set to be made into a movie.

John van der Ruit’s first novel, Spud, which was the winner of the 2006 Bookseller’s Choice Award, took the country by storm on its 2005 release. It tells the story of John ‘Spud’ Milton and his life at Michaelhouse boarding school in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Van der Ruit has written two follow-ups: Spud – The Madness Continues and Spud – Learning to Fly.

Open castings for the main roles began across the country late last year and continued until recently. The cast was made public on the movie’s blog in February this year and shooting started at Michaelhouse on 8 March.

The producers seem keen to stick to local talent, with a predominantly South African cast – including two boys who actually attend Michaelhouse. Troye Sivan, who landed the lead role, is Australian, but was born in South Africa. John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, is set to play Spud’s crackpot teacher, “The Guv”. Even local celeb Tanit Phoenix is rumoured to be involved in the movie. Phoenix is allegedly playing the role of a teacher who has an affair with one of the boys.

The movie is set to appear on screen later this year.

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