Kingdom Studios, founded late last year by the creators of I Can Only Imagine, the sleeper hit and top-grossing independent film of 2018, today unveiled an unprecedented slate of faith-based film projects to be developed and produced by Kingdom and released through their recently-announced partnership with Lionsgate.
During a two-hour, keynote event held to formally reveal the studio slate at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Anaheim, Kingdom brought several special guests to the stage including the rousing Grammy Award-winning musical group for KING & COUNTRY, pastor Greg Laurie, #1 selling music artist Jeremy Camp, whose life story will be the focus of an upcoming Kingdom biopic, and a special taped message from Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman Joe Drake, among others.
Kingdom Studios co-founders and acclaimed directors Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin (I Can Only Imagine, Woodlawn) told the packed convention center crowd that their new company was already ramping up production on the slate, developing much of the material in-house while also working with talented storytellers. They said their growing team is focused on developing and producing inspirational and aspirational family entertainment. Kingdom will deliver event movies for the faith audience with the goal of releasing two theatrical releases each year.
“The dream of Kingdom Studios is simple: to create a media company dedicated to telling life-changing stories by empowering incredible artists and creatives,” said Jon Erwin.
“We are excited to partner with global content leader Lionsgate to make that dream a reality,” said Kingdom Studio Co-Founder and Producer Kevin Downes.
“Lionsgate is built on the very idea of delivering all audiences stories that inspire, uplift and entertain. The films that Kingdom has unveiled today add an exciting new dimension to our already existing commitment and relationship within the faith community. Together, our unprecedented partnership will ensure these films have the full resources, strength and support of our studio to amplify Kingdom’s existing vision while reaching the widest possible audience globally,” said Drake. “Jon, Andrew, and Kevin are filmmakers who are completely dedicated to their craft and have established a strong relationship with an audience by consistently delivering high quality films and doing it with an intimacy that is very special to witness. Lionsgate is beyond thrilled to work in partnership with this team and their company to help build from and expand that reach and message even further. Now more than ever is a time when we need films like these and a company like Kingdom.”
The keynote marked the first time a studio-backed production company announced a slate of films it was producing for the faith audience.
The first film for Kingdom Studios, as previously announced, is I Still Believe. Scheduled for release on March 20, 2020, the inspirational drama chronicles the true-life story of Christian music mega-star Jeremy Camp. His remarkable journey of love and loss proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing. The film is written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn, directed by The Erwin Brothers and will be produced by Kevin Downes.
Jesus Revolution, which tells the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970s and its origins within a community of teenaged hippies in Southern California. The film will be produced in association with pastor Greg Laurie. Written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn, the film will be directed by Jon Gunn (The Case for Christ, Like Dandelion Dust) and produced by Kevin Downes and the Erwin Brothers.
Downes also introduced a trilogy of films inspired by the Bible that will create a new cinematic universe of Biblical stories. “The best-selling book of all time is the perfect source material for the most gripping character-driven cinematic universe ever undertaken,” said Downes. The first film in the trilogy will be Apostles: Resurrection of Christ. The film will be written by Jon Erwin and Jon Gunn and directed by The Erwin Brothers. Kevin Downes will produce.
To end the keynote, the team gave a sneak peak into a film that has just entered development. The Drummer Boy is a period musical being developed in association with the faith-based musical group for KING & COUNTRY, the two-time Grammy Award winning duo who have garnered four No. 1 singles (“joy,” “Priceless,” “Fix My Eyes,” and “Shoulders”), nine Top 10 hits, and had songs featured on the Emmys, Super Bowl, Sunday Night Football and many other high-profile events, including performances on The Tonight Show, Today and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Introducing the film and the band, Andrew Erwin described the film as something “never seen before in the faith space that will surprise and delight audiences everywhere.” The film is currently in the early stages of development and will be written and directed by the Smallbone Brothers, co-written by Richard Ramsey (The Song) and produced by Kevin Downes and The Erwin Brothers. Luke Smallbone will serve as an executive producer.
Kingdom Studios’ executives include Jon Erwin, Andy Erwin, Kevin Downes (together, the trio has created films such as I Can Only Imagine, Woodlawn, Steve McQueen: American Icon) and Tony Young (I Can Only Imagine, The Song). Kingdom Studios has operations in both Los Angeles and Nashville.