Global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) and Roadside Attractions have acquired rights to Jon and Andrew Erwin's film I Can Only Imagine, it was announced today by Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Jason Constantine and Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents and Co-Founders Howard Cohen and Eric d'Arbeloff. The film will be released in North American theaters on March 16, 2018. Kris Fuhr of Working Title Agency and Ben Howard of Provident Films will work on the theatrical campaign in conjunction with Roadside Attractions.
I Can Only Imagine features an all-star cast of Golden-Globe® nominee Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow, The Rookie, Soul Surfer), Oscar®-winner Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant, The Last Picture Show, Young Frankenstein), platinum-selling country music legend Trace Adkins, author and actress Priscilla Shirer (War Room), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Poppers Penguins) and Broadway's J. Michael Finley ("Les Miserables").
The film brings to life the true story behind the song of ultimate hope, "I Can Only Imagine." A transformed relationship with his troubled father inspired Bart Millard, the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe, to write what is now the most-played radio single in Christian music history. The story beautifully illustrates that nobody is ever too far from God's love -- or too far from an eternal home in Heaven.
"This is an extraordinary movie about the power of faith, love, family, and music," said Cohen and d'Arbeloff. "The Erwins bring world-class storytelling and production values to faith-based films. It's no surprise they have attracted such a phenomenal cast to their latest feature. We are thrilled to be bringing it to theatrical audiences nationwide."
"We are delighted to be working with the talented Erwin brothers who have an incredible vision for both the film and the music," said Constantine. "Coming on the heels of our faith-based box office hit, The Shack, I Can Only Imagine will touch audiences everywhere. We are very excited to bring this wonderful story to the big screen."
This is the fourth feature for the Erwin Brothers whose previous films include October Baby, Mom's Night Out and Woodlawn. I Can Only Imagine was produced by Kevin Downes, Cindy Bond and Daryl Lefever. Travis Mann, Scott Brickell and Simon Swart serve as executive producers. Downes and Lefever previously produced The Erwins' Mom's Night Out and Woodlawn. Bond is producing through Mission Pictures International.
Quaid is represented by WME, Leachman is represented by Innovative Artists, CAA represents Adkins and Finley is represented by Abrams Artists Agency. Carroll is represented by Untitled Entertainment and Shirer is represented by Going Beyond Ministries. MercyMe is signed to Fair Trade Records.
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Constantine, Eda Kowan, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions and Lauren Freeman, Director of Acquisitions. Howard Cohen negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions. Kevin Downes negotiated the deal for the producers along with Thomas Vidal of Pryor Cashman LLP.