Hollywood is "waking up" to the reality that the Christian community will support movies that reflect their beliefs, says a filmmaker behind the upcoming faith-based film Jesus Revolution.
Brent McCorkle co-directed Jesus Revolution (PG), which releases in theaters on February 24 and tells the story of the hippies-led Jesus movement of the 1960s and 70s. It stars Jonathan Roumie (The Chosen), Kelsey Grammer (Cheers, Frasier) and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride films). Lionsgate is distributing it.
"Most of the people in the flyover states believe in God, and they have faith in Jesus," McCorkle told Christian Headlines. "There's a lot of us. It's an underserved market.
"... I think Hollywood is slowly waking up to that there's kind of this sleeping giant out there, as far as this content could play for a lot of people," McCorkle said. "And I really think we're also coming into a place where people are going to be more receptive to faith-genre films that are well done."
The faith-based genre has grown during McCorkle's career. In 2012 he directed Unconditional, which received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. Since then, he's served as editor of Woodlawn (2015), and I Can Only Imagine (2018) and as a composer of multiple films, including I Can Only Imagine and Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon (2022).
He has worked alongside faith-based filmmakers Jon and Andy Erwin on five movies. Jesus Revolution is one of those. (Jon Erwin is co-director, while Andy Erwin is a producer.)
The Erwins, he said, "want our stuff to be good and be competitive on a Hollywood level."
"And every time we go out, I feel we get a little better," he said.
I Can Only Imagine opened at No. 3 nationwide and remains the top-grossing film in the history of Roadside Attractions, which helped distribute it. McCorkle believes Jesus Revolution is the "strongest" film he and the Erwins have done together.
Meanwhile, McCorkle says the entire faith-based genre is improving. He mentioned Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson as two filmmakers who have a passion for well-done, faith-centric content. (Wahlberg starred in and produced the 2022 film Father Stu.)
"I think you're gonna see some really, really strong talented people that actually came up in Hollywood making more faith films, so they're going to be excellent quality," McCorkle told Christian Headlines, adding that there are many unknown-yet-talented filmmakers in the faith realm.
"That's going to be incredible," he said. "I think we're in a time where we're gonna see Christian sci-fi and Christian fantasy, Christian space movies," he said. "... The questions [the films raise] are universal, and they're fundamental. … I think we're at a time where we're going to continue to see it get wider and bigger as a genre, and the stories get better, and the technicality of them continue to improve as more talent comes on board to the genre."
Photo courtesy: ©Kingdom Story Company, 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.