EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Releasing has sealed a deal to release yet another faith-based film. This one is called The Masked Saint, which is interesting in that it marks the last acting role for pro wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The WWE Hall of Famer and actor died Friday of a heart attack at age 61.
The feature, which is slated for release January 8, is inspired by true events surrounding a retired pro wrestler who becomes a small-town pastor with a secret: He moonlights as a masked vigilante fighting injustice. When confronted with mounting problems at home and in the church, he must come to terms with his secret identity and his calling as a pastor. The film was inspired by the true-life story of Pastor Chris Whaley, whose told his story in his book of the same name.
Freestyle Releasing also distributed the faith-based Beyond The Mask this summer. It also is the distrib behind the faith-based God’s Not Dead, which it released on behalf of Pure Flix in March to great success. On a $2M budget, Freestyle smartly rolled out the film, ending up with a hefty $60.7M gross.
The Masked Saint, written by Scott Crowell and Brett Granstaff, ended up winning best picture at this year’s International Christian Film Festival. The movie stars Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal), Brett Granstaff (as the pastor), Diahann Carroll (Grey’s Anatomy, White Collar), James Preston Rogers (Pixels) and Piper in his last on-screen performance.
The family-friendly action film is from Ridgerock Entertainment Group’s newly formed Ridgerock Faith dvision and P23 Entertainment.
“Everyone at Ridgerock Entertainment Group is devastated by the news of the recent passing of wrestling legend … Roddy Piper,” said Gary Granstaff. “We send our deepest and heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans. He will truly be missed.”
The film is directed by Warren P. Sonoda, produced by Cliff McDowell, co-produced by David Anselmo and executive produced by Gary Granstaff and Joe Sisto.
The Masked Saint will open in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington D.C., among other cities.