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Bruce Springsteen-Themed ‘Blinded by the Light’ Film Gets Distribution Deal

Brian Ach, Getty Images
Brian Ach, Getty Images

Blinded by the Light, a film about a Muslim in 1987 Britain whose life changes after hearing the music of Bruce Springsteen, has secured a $15 million global deal with New Line and Warner Bros. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last night; it was directed by Gurinder Chadha, who also made 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham.

Warner Bros. will market and distribute the film everywhere except the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, where eOne had previously secured its rights, according to Deadline. A release date has yet to be determined, but they’re hoping to have it out in the summer.

Deadline also reported that the film received a standing ovation during an ending sequence showing photographs of Springsteen with the actors over the closing credits. Springsteen had been rumored to attend the premiere, but Chadha told the crowd afterward that he chose not to because “he didn’t want to take away from the movie.” She screened it for him last year, and Chadha shared his remarks: “Thank you for looking after me so beautifully. Don’t change a thing; it’s perfect.”

Blinded by the Light stars Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Hayley Atwell and Rob Brydon. The script was was based on Greetings From Bury Park, a memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, whose family emigrated from Pakistan to Great Britain in 1974 when he was two years old. The book describes how, upon hearing “The River” when he was 16, he realized how Springsteen’s lyrical themes reflected his internal conflicts of being British and Muslim, and helped him become a writer.

“Blinded by the Light” was the opening track on Springsteen’s debut, 1972’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. It was recorded by Manfred Mann‘s Earth Band four years later and became the only song written by Springsteen to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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