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.