‘Jesus Revolution’ director bringing life of King David to Amazon Prime

Jon Erwin (PHOTO: CBN NEWS)

Originally published in CBN News

The director behind the highly successful faith-based film, Jesus Revolution, is bringing a new series about the life of King David to Amazon Prime Video.

Director Jon Erwin and former Netflix executive Kelly Merryman Hoogstraten have co-founded The WONDER Project, a faith-based, values-driven movie studio.

“I believe entertainment sits upstream from culture. And today, the world needs a way to find common ground again,” Hoogstraten told Deadline recently. “Here at The WONDER Project, our goal is to flood the world with hope.”

“I am convinced we can make a difference by telling stories that restore hope in things worth believing in – family, community, God, and America,” she added. “We will do this at scale for a global audience that seeks faith and values-driven entertainment. And we will give the audience a brand they can call their own.”

With Dallas Jenkins, the creator and director of “The Chosen,” as an advisor for the studio, the group has landed on the “House of David” as the first project for Prime Video after entering into an agreement with Amazon MGM Studios. 

“Our goal at The WONDER Project is to tell stories that restore faith in things worth believing in,” Hoogstraten said. “We’ve been blown away by Amazon’s commitment to help us do this — both through the significant resources they are dedicating and their trust in us to tell these stories authentically to our audience.”

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Erwin’s portfolio includes Jesus RevolutionAmerican Underdog, and I Can Only Imagine.

“House of David” is based on his idea, Variety reports.

“With House of David being the first project under this new deal, we’re setting the stage for a series of compelling, values-driven movies, and TV shows,” said Erwin. “This is a milestone for The WONDER Project, and we’re thrilled to be working with a company that understands and supports our mission and our audience in such a groundbreaking way.”

According to a synopsis given to the Hollywood Reporter, the series “follows the once-mighty King Saul as he falls victim to his own pride. A prophet prepares to overthrow him — anointing the outcast shepherd boy David as a second king. As Saul’s fury grows, David navigates love, violence, and politics in the court of the very man he’s destined to replace. Two kings. One Kingdom. The outcome is war.”

As CBN News reported, Jesus Revolution, earned a whopping $52 million (R992.5 million) in theatres. It opened at the box office at the No 3 spot and remained in the top 10 for several weeks.

“The whole reason we made the movie was if God did it before it, God can do it again,” Erwin told Christian Headlines. “The world needs a Jesus revolution, perhaps now more than any other time in my lifetime.”

The movie tells the true story behind the Jesus Movement of the 1970s, including how Pastor Chuck Smith welcomed hippies at Calvary Chapel as they were looking for truth. That invitation helped to fuel one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in American history.

Greg and his wife Cathe Laurie were two of those young people who were welcomed by Smith. They were seekers who soon became part of the Jesus Movement and eventually went on to pastor Harvest Christian Fellowship. 

Laurie wrote the book Jesus Revolution on which the film was based. 

Last April, the film was a top seller on Amazon Prime. 

Its success could serve as a precursor to how well House of David will do with Prime’s audience. 

“When we met with Jon, Kelly, and Dallas, their clear and passionate vision for The Wonder Project and their ambition to nurture universal stories of love, triumph, and spirituality moved us,” said Vernon Sanders, head of television for Amazon MGM Studios. “We are very excited about the scope, scale, and storytelling involved with House of David and look forward to sharing this epic and many others with our global Prime Video customers.”

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