Film News Roundup: ‘License to Drive’ Gets Female-Driven Film Reboot

In today’s roundup, Fox is remaking its 1988 coming-of-age comedy “License to Drive,” Val Kilmer is starring in a new comedy, and Spirit Award nominations have opened. 


Fox is rebooting the 1988 teen comedy “License to Drive,” which starred Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and Heather Graham.

The studio has set up the project with Fox-based producer John Davis, who produced the original. The writing team of Alisha Brophy and Scott Miles have been tapped to script the female-centric remake.

The original film centered on Haim’s 16-year-old character who sneaks out to party with his girlfriend, played by Graham, and damages his grandfather’s 1972 Cadillac, after failing his driver’s license tests. The original was directed by Gregory Beerman and grossed $22.4 million at the box office.

Michael Ireland is overseeing “License to Drive” for the studio. The writers are repped by Paradigm, Circle of Confusion, and attorney Lev Ginsburg. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Val Kilmer will star in the comedy “1st Born,” directed by Iranian director Ali Atshani in what’s touted as the first joint feature film co-production between Iran and Hollywood using both Middle Eastern and American cast and crew members.

Atshani’s credits include “Paradise,” which was an Iranian/German production along with the Iranian films “The President’s Cellphone,” “Wish Bone,” “Banana Peel,” “Mr. Alef,” and “Negar’s Role.” “1st Born” was written by Sam Khoze, Tarek Zohdy, and Mahdi Alimirzaee.

“1st Born,” which begins filming next month in Los Angeles, centers on a newlywed couple — Iranian-born Ben and American Kate — who are living the American dream in sunny California. When their first pregnancy has complications, it brings the whole family together. Ben’s father is an anti-American Iranian politician while Kate’s father, played by Kilmer, is an equally anti-Iranian U.S. politician.

Hollywood-based LA Independent Film and Entertainment is producing “1st Born” with Sam Khoze leading the team, which includes producer Edwin Avaness and associate producer Pourya Naserbakht.


Film Independent has opened entries for the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The regular deadline is Sept. 19 and the final deadline is Oct. 10. Nominations will be announced on Nov. 21 and the awards show will be held on March 3, premiering exclusively on IFC. Nominees are limited to films with budgets of less than $20 million.

Film Independent Members comprise the exclusive voting body that determines the winners of the Spirit Awards. Members are filmmakers, film industry leaders, and film lovers. The deadline for joining to be eligible to vote for the winners of the 2018 Spirit Awards is Dec. 7.

The American Film Market will introduce an online screenings platform, AFM Screenings On Demand, in advance of this year’s market.

The new platform will allow sales companies to screen their films privately for buyers before, during, and after the American Film Market. AFM Screenings On Demand, which is free for invited viewers, will begin screening films on Oct. 23, one week before AFM, and conclude on March 31, one week after Hong Kong Filmart.

“AFM Screenings On Demand will make it easier for buyers to see every film they are interested in,” said AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf. “And with online screenings starting a week before the market, buyers will now be ready to make offers on completed films when they arrive on opening day.”


Universal Pictures will move Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” from July 3, 2019, to June 7, 2019.

The sequel will follow the 2016 original about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator, Janet Healy, will produce the sequel to the comedy.

Brian Lynch (“Minions”) is writing the script and Chris Renaud is returning to direct.


Samuel Goldwyn Films has bought North American and Latin American rights to the drama “Blame,” which premiered in April at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The film stars Quinn Shephard (“Hostages”), Nadia Alexander (“The Sinner”), Trieste Kelly Dunn, Marcia DeBonis, Tessa Albertson, Sarah Mezzanotte, Owen Campbell, Luke Slattery, Tate Donovan, and Chris Messina.

The film, directed by Shehard, is slated to release in theaters, on demand, and digital this winter. The film is produced by Laurie Shephard and Quinn Shephard.

The movie is set at a small suburban high school and centered on Quinn Shephard’s character being cast as the lead in a production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” leading to another jealous student plotting against her.

Gravitas Ventures has bought all U.S. video on demand rights to “No Man’s Land,” the story of a right-wing militia that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will also show at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and will have its on demand launch at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 31.

David Byars directed and produced with Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, David Holbrooke, David Osit, Rachel Traub, and Stash Wislocki. Exec producers are Thom Beers, First Look Media’s Michael Bloom and Adam Pincus, and Impact Partners’ Dan Cogan.

The occupation lasted 40 days and was led by Ammon Bundy.


Participant Media has appointed veteran PR exec Amy Glickman as senior VP for publicity and corporate communications.

She will lead and supervise entertainment publicity, events, and corporate communications for the company, along with developing and executing strategic publicity initiatives across all divisions and content, including film, television, and digital, as well as overseeing internal and external communications.

Glickman will report to Christina Kounelias, exec VP of worldwide marketing.

“I am so happy to join a company that is breaking the mold of impactful storytelling to create positive change,” Glickman said. “I have been so impressed with their work on ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ in reaching broad audiences across multiple mediums and accelerating the conversation and positive work around the climate crisis. I look forward to working with Christina and the Participant team to bring awareness to important global issues that affect us all.”

Glickman’s clients have included eBay, Fox Consumer Products, Norman Lear’s Declare Yourself, Sony, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Autism Speaks, Target, Tommy Hilfiger, and the Tribeca Film Festival. She’s served in leadership roles at 42 West, PMK*BNC, and Rubenstein Communications.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • on day 3 of the London

    Barbara Broccoli, Richard Curtis, Passion Pictures Team on Paralympics Documentary

    Oscar-winning British production company Passion Pictures is teaming up with James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and filmmaker Richard Curtis on a new feature documentary about the Paralympic Games. The project, currently titled “Harder Than You Think,” brings together Passion’s John Battsek with producer Greg Nugent of HTYT Films, with Broccoli and Curtis both serving as [...]

  • Tribeca Film Insitute's PitchNY Program Now

    Tribeca Film Institute's PitchNY Program Kicks Off (EXCLUSIVE)

    College students and recent alumni in New York can apply to the 4th annual PitchNY program, an effort to help young, diverse directors, producers and writers fine-tune their pitching skills, as well as to connect them with entertainment industry professionals who will serve as mentors. On Thursday, Tribeca Film Institute, The New York State Governor’s [...]

  • La-camarista

    ‘The Chambermaid’ Cleans Up in the U.S.

    SANTIAGO, Chile — Call it the “Roma” effect but Mexican newcomer Lila Aviles’ engaging portrait of a hotel servant, “The Chambermaid” (“La Camarista”) has found outstanding reception in the U.S. and in multiple territories, giving hope to other arthouse films from Latin America and elsewhere that seek distribution in “fortress America.” “‘Roma’ was a beautiful, brawny and [...]

  • Beograd 20.03.2012 Milutin Petrovic, reditelj, scenarista,

    Lost Script by ABC Studios Editor Turned Into Movie and Series 'Bad Blood'

    An ambitious new Serbian feature film and 10-part television series set in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th century has emerged from a long lost script by a former editor at ABC Studios in New York City. Belgrade-based This and That Productions is producing “Bad Blood,” based on the works of renowned Serbian writer Borisav [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power, Responsibility of Cinema to ‘Provoke’

    Gael García Bernal said acting for the likes of Oscar winners Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón helped groom him for the director’s chair and praised cinema as “the only medium” that allows artists to “explore the gray areas” in unparalleled ways. “The world is so full of certainties now, and cinema is the one that [...]

  • Gareth Jones

    Samuel Goldwyn Films Takes North American Rights to Berlin Competition Title 'Mr Jones'

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has taken North American rights on Agnieska Holland’s “Mr. Jones,” it announced Thursday. The period thriller debuted in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Set on the eve of the Second World War, “Mr. Jones” stars James Norton as the eponymous character, an ambitious young journalist who travels to Moscow [...]

  • Live Action Mulan

    China Uses Disney's 'Mulan' to Attack Hong Kong Protests

    Although Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to stop what they say is a Chinese state-backed misinformation campaign about the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, similar content from suspicious accounts continues to proliferate widely, some of it co-opting Disney‘s new “Mulan“ to try to discredit the demonstrators. At the same time, China‘s government-controlled media are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content