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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Jon Erwin - the Filmmaker behind "I Can Only Imagine" - Launches a New Studio

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The outfit will create television and film productions that cater to "faith and values audiences."

Jon Erwin (left) appears with his brother and fellow filmmaker Andrew Erwin at a 2019 event for their film "I Still Believe."
Jon Erwin (left) appears with his brother and fellow filmmaker Andrew Erwin at a 2019 event for their film "I Still Believe." Image: Erwin Brothers/from Instagram.

Jon Erwin may well currently be at the very top of the heap, as it were, in the Christian movie genre. Together with his brother, Andrew, he has made some the best faith-based films of the last several years, including I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe, and Jesus Revolution. Now comes word that the director, producer, and screenwriter has put together $75 million in investment funds to launch an independent studio called The WONDER Project.

The logo for The WONDER Project studio.
The logo for The WONDER Project studio. Image: The WONDER Project.

Erwin, a committed Believer who will be the Chief Content Officer, is partnering with former Netflix and YouTube executive Kelly Merryman Hoogstraten, who is to be the CEO. Their company - according to a press release - intends to produce "high-quality, hopeful entertainment tailored for a substantial faith and values-oriented audience." Saying he "can't wait" for viewers to see what they are working on, Erwin believes the new studio will deliver TV shows and movies that audiences "didn't know were possible."

"We will achieve this by giving the creatives dedicated to this audience (including myself) a level of freedom and resources they've never had before."

Among the investors in the project are Erwin's existing partners at Lionsgate studio, the outfit that helped him and his brother launch their Kingdom Story Company in 2019. That latter outfit is currently the most prolific production company in the faith-based space; their next two pictures - Ordinary Angels and Unsung Hero - are coming out early next year. At this point, it is unclear exactly how The WONDER Project will differentiate itself from Kingdom Story Company since their basic approach seems on the surface to be quite similar.

There is another top Christian filmmaker coming onboard at the new studio, though, who is not on the payroll at Kingdom: Dallas Jenkins, the creator/director of The Chosen, the hit streaming series about the life of Jesus. He is a major shareholder in and special advisor to The WONDER Project, making Jenkins, as the press release puts it, "One of the most critical WP creative alliances." He will also serve as an executive producer on some of its projects.

There is as yet no word on what any of those will be or when we can expect to see them. Christian Film Blog will, however, keep an eye on developments and bring you that information as we get it.


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