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How Lionsgate and Kingdom Hope to Redefine Faith-Based Films

Jon and Andrew Erwin’s new studio goals to win over audiences with increased manufacturing high quality and extra inclusive non secular messages

The launch of Lionsgate’s “I Still Believe” marks the arrival of a brand new studio within the rising faith-based film market: Kingdom Story Company, a brand new enterprise based by administrators Jon and Andrew Erwin that hopes to win over Christian audiences with a brand new method to the style — and perhaps even attract some common audiences, as properly.

“I Still Believe” can be large for Lionsgate as a result of it’s the first movie launched by way of their distribution take care of Kingdom, which was introduced at CinemaCon final 12 months. The deal was made after the shocking success of the Erwins’ earlier movie, “I Can Only Imagine,” a biopic in regards to the inspiration behind the MercyMe tune of the identical identify that grew to become the most effective promoting Christian music single of all time. Made on a $7 million funds, the movie grew to become a shock success with $86 million grossed worldwide.

With the income from that movie, the Erwins began Kingdom with plans to launch 2-Three movies per 12 months. “I Still Believe” is the primary of three movies deliberate by the studio for 2020 and stars “Riverdale” lead KJ Apa as singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp within the true story of how he met his first spouse, Melissa, and married her whilst she was recognized with terminal ovarian most cancers. It’s a movie that, like “I Can Only Imagine,” is emblematic of the kind of tales Kingdom desires to inform.

“Andy and I want to create a label that can serve the heartland audience in diverse ways,” Jon Erwin informed TheWrap. “We want to make films that are entertaining, that can be seen by the entire family, but most of all are aspirational and inspirational and bring hope. Frank Capra has been our inspiration and I think the world needs a bit more Capra in it.”

While there can be some movies aimed particularly at evangelical audiences — one such movie can be “Jesus Revolution,” a movie in regards to the wave of evangelicalism within the 1970s — movies like “I Still Believe” take a broader method to spirituality. Such common, uplifting themes are ones the Erwins imagine will enchantment to moviegoers far past simply these of a particular religion. On high of that, the Erwins are centered on bringing the next manufacturing worth than what is usually anticipated of the style, each defying the expectations of those that often skip such movies whereas giving the religious one thing they haven’t seen earlier than.

“We have been born and raised in Alabama and our places of work are in Nashville. We know the viewers. We are the viewers, and I believe there’s misconceptions of what that viewers desires,” Erwin stated. “We want to bring films that are higher standards of quality that are seen by more and more people and earn a brand that is trusted with the core audience.”

Erwin stated that folks need some extra tales of hope.

“We believe there’s a way to make a faith-based film that’s widely relatable,” he stated. “Themes like forgiveness and redemption are universally relatable. If you tell the stories correctly, then there’s no need for faith-based films to exclude anyone.”

One solution to broaden that viewers is to base it within the tales of individuals well-known exterior of evangelical circles. That’s why the Erwins’ subsequent movie is a biopic in regards to the lifetime of Kurt Warner, a Hall of Fame quarterback with two NFL MVP awards and a Super Bowl title to his identify. Warner has been very open in regards to the significance of religion in his life and profession, and the teachings he discovered from it are one thing the Erwins need to deliver to the display screen with “American Underdog,” which is able to come out this December with Warner and his spouse, Brenda, as producers.

“Our background is documentary movies, so going again to that,…

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