For years, Christian parents relied on studios like Disney and Pixar to produce wholesome entertainment for their children. Sure, there were the occasional worldview problems, but many of the cartoons and live-action films produced were fine for the kids to watch. Now, however, the largest animation studios are churning out movies and TV shows that attempt to indoctrinate kids with the LGBTQ agenda, among other problems. Filmmaker Jon Erwin plans to step into the growing void of quality and wholesome entertainment for both parents and children to start the “Christian Pixar.”
Best known for directing the hit film I Can Only Imagine, which corralled $83 million at the box office, Erwin has been producing and directing quality movies for years now. His impressive resume boasts films like Woodlawn, October Baby, and Mom’s Night Out. Hoping to build on his past success, Erwin spoke to Baptist Press about his ambitious project:
Erwin, his brother Andy and their production partner Kevin Downes have formed a new filmmaking company, Kingdom, which will bring multiple filmmakers together to create a “pipeline of event movies” that proclaim a biblical message and “serve the church,” Erwin told Baptist Press.
He likens it to a “Christian Pixar or a Christian Marvel” studio that is able to work on multiple films at one time, but all with the quality that moviegoers expect from an Erwin-branded movie. Some movies will be directed by the Erwins, while others will employ other veteran or upcoming directors. Lionsgate will distribute them.
Erwin is expected to announce the first slate of films at the annual National Religious Broadcasters meeting this coming March. Hints have already been dropped, though, about what kind of content and stories can be expected.
“We’re going to be unveiling what I feel is a great leap forward and a vision for what can be accomplished in Hollywood on behalf of Christianity,” Erwin said. “And we’re also going to be unveiling multiple films. It’s going to be real exciting.”
One of the movies is expected to focus on the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to a Tweet from author and pastor Greg Laurie, who is Erwin’s friend. Erwin told BP he could not confirm the report but did say he had “fallen in love with the story of America’s last great spiritual awakening.”
Erwin understands that Christian artists and filmmakers need to collaborate in order to make real inroads into the broader entertainment industry. Even with his success, he’s aware that he and his brother alone “could never make enough content to really move the needle.”
With that understanding in mind, Erwin plans “to bring faith-based talent together under one umbrella.”
Jon Erwin and his brother have an uphill battle to achieve success with such an ambitious project. However, it’s a project that’s needed and that has an audience eager for it, even if that audience is unaware of the project. Helping to get the word out will enable Erwin to succeed. Complaining about the lack of quality and wholesome entertainment is pointless if Christians are unwilling to support Christian artists in their creative efforts.
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