The Mule premiered in March at SXSW and now XLrator Media has acquired U.S. rights to the comedy thriller. Angus Sampson (Mad Max: Fury Road, Insidious) wrote, co-directed with Tony Mahony and stars in the pic along with Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings, The Matrix) and Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious). Ewen Leslie, Geoff Morrell, Georgina Haig, Noni Hazlehurst and John Noble (The Lord Of The Rings, Fringe) also star. Based on true events, the 1983-set pic centers on a naive man who’s detained by Australian Federal Police with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach. Alone and afraid, ‘the Mule’ makes a desperate choice – defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence…literally. And by doing so becomes a human time-bomb, dragging cops, criminals and concerned family into his impossible escapade. Sampson also produces with Jane Liscombe and Michele Bennett, Whannell, David Griffiths, Angus Coupland and Troy Lum exec producing. Deal was negotiated by Barry Gordon on behalf of XLrator and Anick Poirier of Séville International (eOne Films International’s boutique sales arm) and Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers. XLrator is planning a fall release via its Macabre genre label.