×

Sundance: New Line Closing in on $15 Million Deal for ‘Blinded by the Light’

New Line is in final negotiations on a massive $15 million deal for “Blinded by the Light,” a coming-of-age film set to Bruce Springsteen’s music that debuted to a rapturous standing ovation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Blinded by the Light” follows a Pakistani British teenager who dreams of escaping life in his drab London suburb. He connects with the music of “The Boss,” whose hardscrabble lyrics mirror his own struggles with racism and economic deprivation. The film was directed by “Bend It Like Beckham’s” Gurinder Chadha and unspools in 1987 at the height of Margaret Thatcher’s conservative transformation of U.K. politics. Negotiations stretched into the early hours of Monday morning, with other studios such as Amazon and Fox Searchlight circling the project at various points.

The deal is for worldwide rights. It is the richest pact out of this year’s Sundance. But even before New Line landed the movie, the festival had been a seller’s market with the likes of “Late Night” and “The Report” scoring pacts for $13 million and $14 million, respectively.

The cast includes Viveik Kalra, Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir, Nell Williams, and Aaron Phagura. The screenplay is by Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, and Safraz Manzoor. It often plays like a greatest hits mix tape with Springsteen classics such as “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark” cropping up at various dramatic intervals.

In a positive review, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman hailed it as a “return to form” for Chadha, writing, “‘Blinded by the Light’ has the courage of its own shameless teen rock-god sincerity.”

Endeavor Content and ICM Partners brokered the sale.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Metro 2033

    Cult Sci-Fi Novel 'Metro 2033' to Be Adapted as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership Film Company – all part of Gazprom Media – have come together to produce a movie based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sci-fi novel “Metro 2033,” which has also been adapted as a video game. Filming is due to start next year. The Russian premiere of the movie [...]

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners’' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

  • Refugees from the besieged Muslim enclave

    Sarajevo’s True Stories Market: Documenting the Atrocities of War

    Reconciliation and dealing with the tragedies of the Yugoslav Wars has been a major focus of the Sarajevo Film Festival and its CineLink Industry Days event in recent years. The True Stories Market, launched in 2016, aims to connect filmmakers with organizations that are researching and documenting the Yugoslav Wars that spanned 1991 to 2001 [...]

  • Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’

    Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ Wins Top Prize in Sarajevo

    “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” Bosnian director Ena Sendijarević’s coming-of-age story about a teen raised in the Netherlands who returns to Bosnia to visit her ailing father, won the top prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival Thursday night, earning the Amsterdam-based helmer the coveted Heart of Sarajevo Award. The jury heralded the “beautifully photographed, acted, scripted [...]

  • Khadar Ahmed - BUFO - photo

    Bufo Sets Key Cast for Co-Production ‘The Gravedigger' (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —   Actor Omar Abdi, who starred in the Ahmed-scripted short “Citizens,” and actress Yasmin Warsame, who made her name as a Canadian model, will topline romantic-tragedy “The Gravedigger,” the latest big screen project from Bufo, the Helsinki-based outfit behind Berlinale winner “The Other Side of Hope.” The film follows a Djibouti gravedigger [...]

  • Jacobs Ladder Movie 2019

    Film Review: 'Jacob's Ladder'

    It’s understandable that someone would want to remake “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1990 head-trip thriller about a Vietnam veteran haunted by fragmentary nightmare visions. I was far from alone in finding the original to be an overwrought but rather thin “psychological” horror film that was more punishing than pleasurable. And it wasn’t exactly a hit, [...]

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content