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Aircraft Pictures and Dolphin Entertainment to Produce New Feature Adaptation of Youngblood

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 10:05 AM

Dolphin Entertainment

Rising Filmmaker Charles Officer to Direct Film Based on '80s Sports Drama; Slated to Commence Production Early Next Year

TORONTO, ON and LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / September 7, 2022 / Aircraft Pictures, the Academy Award® and Emmy Award® nominated production company that specializes in scripted content for youth and families, in association with Dolphin Entertainment (NASDAQ:DLPN), a leading entertainment marketing and premium content production company, announced today an upcoming theatrical feature film adaptation of the 1986 sports drama, Youngblood, with rising filmmaker Charles Officer (AKILLA'S ESCAPE) on board to direct. The film is slated to begin principal photography in early 2023.

The film follows hockey prodigy Dean Youngblood who joins the Hamilton Bulldogs and discovers he must face off against toxic behavior on the ice and within himself to fulfill his dream of being drafted into the National Hockey League. The original 1986 film, distributed by MGM, starred Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in his feature film debut, and has since become a cult classic among hockey fans.

The Youngblood adaptation is based on a script by screenwriters 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 will be made with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund, Ontario Creates and the Shaw Rocket Fund.

Officer commented on the news, saying: "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."

"In revisiting the Youngblood story, we're given an opportunity to take this incredibly emotional and entertaining narrative and update it for an entirely new generation," said O'Dowd, CEO of Dolphin Entertainment. "We're excited to flip the original story on its head and explore how its themes of family, coming-of-age and masculinity will resonate differently today."

"Quite a bit has changed since Youngblood premiered more than thirty years ago," said Anthony Leo, Co-Founder and Co-President of Aircraft Pictures. "With a visionary director like Charles, and with support from our financial partners and Dolphin Entertainment, this adaptation couldn't be in better hands."

Earlier this year, Aircraft Pictures received a milestone investment from Canadian media and content company Corus Entertainment Inc., becoming a majority stakeholder in Aircraft. The deal marked an important investment in supporting Aircraft's growth ambitions in producing quality family-focused entertainment for the global marketplace.

Officer is an award-winning director whose selected works include the crime-noir feature film Akilla's Escape, which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and won five Canadian Screen Awards; the recent BET+/CBC television drama The Porter, which he also Executive Produced; and Mighty Jerome, which earned a 2012 Emmy Award® for Best Historical Documentary. His television directing credits include the CBS drama Ransom, the Netflix soccer drama 21 Thunder, ABC's Rookie Blue and NBC's Saving Hope. Charles is no stranger to hockey, having played professionally when drafted to the Calgary Flames farm team prior to becoming a film director. He is also founding member of the first Canadian Black Screen Office.

Epstein and Rideout are represented by Echo Lake Entertainment, the Jennifer Hollyer Agency and Michael Schenkman at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson and Christopher. Aaron is represented by Harrison Artists Management. Officer is represented by GGA and 3 Arts Entertainment.


Dean Youngblood was raised by his father, Blane, on a diet of toughness and hockey. When Dean is invited to join the Hamilton Bulldogs, he travels to Canada from Detroit where his skill commands respect and his arrogance earns him fast enemies. Coach Chadwick, resentful of being saddled with such a toxic player, keeps Dean benched game after game. Dean's frustration builds, culminating in a violent outburst involving rival goon Carl Racki that costs the Bulldogs a significant win. As Team Captain Sutton takes him under his wing, Dean begins to buck Blane's teachings and his growing maturity spurs a relationship with Jessie - Coach Chadwick's daughter - who gives Dean a run for his money on and off the ice. His newfound resolve draws the ire of Racki, who provokes Dean during a game by attacking and seriously injuring Sutton. As the final game of the Memorial Cup tournament approaches, so does his showdown with Racki and Dean's choice as to what kind of man he wants to be.

About Aircraft Pictures

Based in Toronto with an office in Los Angeles, Aircraft Pictures was founded by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen to create high quality, scripted content for kids, families, and young adults. Recent projects include the upcoming AppleTV+ series Circuit Breakers, Hulu Original series Holly Hobbie; the animated series Summer Memories for WildBrain; the multi-award winning animated feature film The Breadwinner; three television movies based on the Bruno & Boots book series by Canadian young adult fiction icon Gordon Korman; the supernatural comedy series Todd & The Book of Pure Evil and the Kidscreen Award-winning single-camera comedy Raising Expectations created by Tom Saunders (Arrested Development) and starring Jason Priestley and Molly Ringwald. For more information, visit

About Dolphin Entertainment

Dolphin Entertainment is an Emmy®-nominated creator of television, digital, and feature film content. Dolphin's TV division is most well-known for its decade-long partnership with Nickelodeon across a slate of prime-time, live-action series and movies, including the top-rated series, Zoey 101. Dolphin's feature films include the Mattel co-production Max Steel and the Justin Bieber documentary Believe. In Cannes this year, Dolphin announced a partnership with IMAX to co-finance, co-produce, and co-distribute feature documentaries. The first project in the slate is The Blue Angels, producing partners include Bad Robot, Zipper Bros., and Glen Powell. In addition to its legacy production business, Dolphin owns 6 powerhouse Entertainment PR and Marketing agencies, including leading Film/TV agency 42West, which has recently been ranked the most powerful PR Agency in Entertainment by both Forbes and the New York Observer. Dolphin is a publicly traded company on NASDAQ (DLPN), with over 200 employees and offices in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. To learn more, visit:

This press release contains 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These forward-looking statements may address, among other things, Dolphin Entertainment Inc.'s offering of common stock as well as expected financial and operational results and the related assumptions underlying its expected results. These forward-looking statements are distinguished by the use of words such as "will," "would," "anticipate," "expect," "believe," "designed," "plan," or "intend," the negative of these terms, and similar references to future periods. These views involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and, accordingly, Dolphin Entertainment's actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in its forward-looking statements. Dolphin Entertainment's forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. Factors or events Dolphin Entertainment cannot predict, including those described in the risk factors contained in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, may cause its actual results to differ from those expressed in forward-looking statements. Although Dolphin Entertainment believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved, and Dolphin Entertainment undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

About Photon Films and Media

Photon Films is an independent, Toronto-based entertainment company specializing in the development, financing, production and distribution of feature films for the domestic and international marketplace. Launched in 2010 as Pacific Northwest Pictures, Photon Film's strategic objective is to find innovative projects from Canada and around the globe, and to work with filmmakers, distributors and sales agents locally and internationally to maximize commercial success while maintaining creative integrity.

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SOURCE: Dolphin Entertainment

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