The so-called “Jesus movement” of the 1960s and 1970s will be the subject of a new movie from the filmmakers behind I Can Only Imagine and American Underdog, it was announced Friday.
According to a news release, the new movie, titled Jesus Revolution, will tell the true story of the “national spiritual awakening” of the “early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California,” according to a news release.
Five-time Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer will play the late Chuck Smith, the pastor who founded the Calvary Chapel movement and was a mentor to Greg Laurie. Laurie – now a well-known pastor – was a young man at the time and experienced a spiritual awakening under Smith’s guidance.
It also stars Anna Grace Barlow (The Big Lead, NCIS), who plays Laurie’s friend Cathe, and Jonathan Roumie (The Chosen), who plays hippie preacher Lonnie Frisbee.
Kingdom Story Company and Lionsgate are producing it. Kingdom Story Company is the same studio behind American Underdog, I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine, Woodlawn and Jesus Music.
“We’re thrilled by the incredible cast that has come together,” said Jon Erwin, the co-director and co-writer. “The movie is set in a very specific time and place, but the theme of finding a deeper meaning to life, in the midst of a fractured and broken world, is timeless. In his iconic performances, Kelsey has a proven ability to connect with audiences in a real, vulnerable way, which will make him a tremendous presence in this film.”
Said Grammer, “Jesus has been a profound influence in my life. I am proud to be a part of this film.”
Erwin and Jon Gunn co-wrote the script. It will be directed by Erwin and Brent McCorkle (Unconditional) and produced by Kevin Downes (I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, American Underdog), Jon and Andrew Erwin (I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, American Underdog), Josh Walsh (The Jesus Music) and Daryl Lefever (Woodlawn).
“If anything has been made clear over the past few years, it is how much we need each other,” Jon Erwin said. “Yet with each passing day, it feels like we are more disconnected than ever before. The true story in Jesus Revolution reminds us that hope is never lost, and through even the most challenging of times, with faith, change is possible.”
Photo courtesy: ©Kingdom Story Company/Lionsgate, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.