EXCLUSIVE: I Can Only Imagine, the next faith-based film directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin’s (Moms’ Night Out, Woodlawn), is now pegged to be released next Spring (2018). The fourth film from the brothers is based on the popular Christian song of the same name by Bart Millard and is based on his life. Dennis Quaid joined the cast yesterday and it also stars Trace Adkins (who was also in their film Mom’s Night Out) and Cloris Leachman. Broadway’s J. Michael Finley (Les Miserables) is making his screen debut in the film.
It will be interesting to see if the film, based on the story behind the song, will translate to the big screen. The fan base is certainly there. Millard’s song has topped multiple mainstream and Christian radio charts to become the most played Christian radio single in history, according to Billboard. In fact, I Can Only Imagine became the first Christian song digital download to be certified double platinum and boosted sales of the album, Almost There, to near triple platinum.
The Erwin brothers corroborated with their Moms’ Night Out and Woodlawn producers Kevin Downes and Daryl Lefever for this one. Cindy Bond is also producing in association with Mission Pictures. Travis Mann, Simon Swart and Scott Brickell are executive producers.
Other cast include Madeline Carroll (Swing Vote, Machine Gun Preacher) and Priscilla Shirer (War Room). The film is currently shooting in Oklahoma.
Mom’s Night Out starred Adkins, Sarah Drew and Patricia Heaton and was distributed by Sony and grossed only $10.4M on a production budget of $5M. However, Woodlawn, which starred Jon Voight and Sean Astin, earned a rare A+ CinemaScore when it was released in 2015; it grossed $14.39 and was distributed by Pureflix before going to Uni’s Home Entertainment unit.
Samuel Goldwyn and Provident Films released the brothers’ debut film October Baby in 2014. It ended up with a lifetime gross of $5.3M.