The filmmaker behind such hit movies as Miracles from Heaven and Breakthrough says his goal is to inspire and "strengthen the faith" of Christians and the moviegoing public.
DeVon Franklin produced Miracles from Heaven (2016), which opened at No. 3 and grossed $61.7 million, and Breakthrough (2019), which also debuted at No. 3 before ending its run with $40.7 million.
He also produced The Star (2017) and Flamin' Hot (2023).
"I've been in the church since day one, pretty much all my life," Franklin told Christian Headlines. "And when I started telling people I wanted to go to Hollywood, they were like, 'No, you can't do it.' But I said, 'All things are possible to those who believe.' So if you don't believe that I can do it, that's okay – just pray for me because I'm gonna go figure it out. And thankfully, thanks to God, I did. And I'm able to be in this business and do the thing that I set out to do, which is make movies that can bring hope and inspiration and strengthen people's faith."
As a studio executive at Columbia, he oversaw such movies as The Pursuit of Happyness, and Heaven Is For Real. He is the author of multiple books, including Produced by Faith and The Hollywood Commandments.
Franklin also has had roles in front of the camera. He portrayed a magazine reporter in the 2023 faith-based hit Jesus Revolution. In 2015's Woodlawn, he played a preacher.
His desire to make movies began as a child, he said.
"My father died when I was nine years old of a heart attack when he was 36," he told Christian Headlines. "And my mother didn't have money for therapy. So it was a combination of going to church and watching entertainment that helped me process and navigate that difficult moment. And movies like Back to the Future, movies like [The] Color Purple, Rocky, they just inspired me. And I just felt like, 'Okay, this industry that has helped me, I believe I can use it to help others.' And that was the catalyst."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Robin L. Marshall/Stringer
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.