After the success of their films I Still Believe (telling the true-life story of Christian singer Jeremy Camp) and American Underdog (football player Kurt Warner’s story), the Erwin Brothers of Kingdom Story Company are busy working on their next movie, Jesus Revolution. The film is inspired by the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California.
The most surprising cast choice for this movie is Kelsey Grammer. Not because of acting ability as he is a gifted actor. Best known for playing the playboy radio show psychologist in Fraiser, most of us wouldn’t think of Grammer as a good choice in a faith-based movie, but he will probably do remarkable job.
Set in the 1970s, Grammer will play Chuck Smith, the real-life pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. (Chuck famously opened his church to a generation of hippies and seekers, helping to launch the last great spiritual revival in America.) His co-star for the film is Joel Courtney who will play a young Greg Laurie.
In the movie, Laurie sets out to redefine truth through all means of liberation, and instead, meets Lonnie Frisbee (played by Jonathan Roumie), a charismatic hippie street preacher. Laurie and Frisbee, along with Pastor Smith open the doors of Smith’s languishing church to an unexpected revival by way of rock and roll, newfound love, and a twist of faith leading to a Jesus revolution that changed the world.
“We’re thrilled by the incredible cast that has come together,” said Jon Erwin who wrote the script with Jon Gunn. “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.”
Grammer added, “Jesus has been a profound influence in my life. I am proud to be a part of this film.”
Erwin added, “If anything has been made clear over the past few years, it is how much we need each other. 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.”
The rest of the cast includes Anna Grace Barlow, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ally Ioannides, Julia Campbell, Nic Bishop and Jolie Jenkins.
Modern-day cause-related crusades and rallies for change are everywhere. Jesus Revolution is the story of one such movement that not only set a model for change-makers thereafter, but that sparked a revival with ripple effects that still matter today.
Barlow will play Cathe, who finds a connection with Greg as they both search for purpose in a changing world. Roumie will play Lonnie Frisbee, the young hippie preacher who brings thousands into the movement with his charismatic and vulnerable messages. Williams-Paisley will play Charlene, Greg’s struggling mother. Campbell will play Kay, Chuck’s wife, with Ioannides playing Janette, his daughter. Bishop will play Dick, Cathe’s father, and Jenkins will play Pilar, her mother.
Jesus Revolution is directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle and produced by Kevin Downes, the Erwin Brothers along with Josh Walsh and Daryl Lefever.
Main Image: Kelsey Grammer, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Jonathan Roumie and Joel Courtney
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