The song “I Can Only Imagine,” arguably one of the most popular and powerful songs in Christian music history, has taken on a life of its own and is now the subject of a worldwide motion picture of the same name (releasing in Cinemas in Australia/NZ on March 15. For session times see Hoyts Woden and Event Cinemas in Manuka. In celebration of the movie release, MercyMe is unveiling a special version of the song made just for the movie called “I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Sessions)”.
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 Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff (Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents and Co-Founders). “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 Jason Constantine (Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions). “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.
About I Can Only Imagine:
It’s the song that brings ultimate hope to so many … often in the midst of life’s most challenging moments. Amazingly, the song was written in mere minutes by MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard. In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft.
Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and used his love of music as an escape from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury—combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential—set Bart on a musical pathway.
Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe—named for his grandmother’s favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.
Directed by the Erwin Brothers (October Baby, Moms’ Night Out, and Woodlawn), I CAN ONLY IMAGINE stars J. Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins, Priscilla Shirer, with Cloris Leachman and Dennis Quaid.
A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE beautifully illustrates that no one is ever too far from God’s love—or from an eternal home in Heaven.
Kevin Downes, Cindy Bond, Daryl Leever, Mickey Liddell & Pete Shilaimon
The Erwin Brothers (Jon and Andrew Erwin)