A new feature film based on the 1986 sports drama “Youngblood,” this time centering on an African American hockey prodigy, is in the works from Aircraft Pictures and Dolphin Entertainment. Rising filmmaker Charles Officer is on board to direct the film, which is slated to begin principal photography in early 2023.
The reimagined update follows hockey prodigy Dean Youngblood, who joins the Hamilton Bulldogs and faces toxic behavior throughout his journey to the National Hockey League draft. The original 1986 film, distributed by MGM, was Keanu Reeves’ feature film debut. It also starred Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, and it has since become a cult classic among hockey fans.
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“The opportunity to re-imagine the beloved classic hockey drama ‘Youngblood’ is a gift, and I am excited to bring a fresh story that centers on an African American hockey prodigy to the screen,” Officer said.
Officer previously directed the crime-noir feature film “Akilla’s Escape,” which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and won five Canadian Screen Awards. In television, he has directing credits in the CBS drama “Ransom,” the Netflix soccer drama “21 Thunder,” ABC’s “Rookie Blue” and NBC’s “Saving Hope.” Officer himself played professional hockey with the Calgary Flames farm team prior to becoming a director.
The adaptation is based on a script by Josh Epstein, Kyle Rideout, Seneca Aaron and Officer. The film will be distributed in Canada by Photon Films and produced in association with Dolphin Entertainment. Dolphin’s Bill O’Dowd and Emerson Davis will serve as executive producers alongside Photon Films’ Mark Slone and Zanne Devine. Aircraft’s Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen will produce with Jake Yanowski serving as co-producer. The film is also supported financially by Ontario Creates and the Shaw Rocket Fund alongside Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund.
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