Religious Revolution

On February 24, the new movie Jesus Revolution will be released in theaters. Taking place in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the film shows the United States with unprecedented drug use, the Vietnam War, the Weather Underground and Richard Nixon in the White House, but amid all of this, there is a trend beginning, with thousands of youth getting into Christianity for the first time across the country.

The film stars Kelsey Grammer, award-winning actor known best for his role as Frasier Crane in Cheers and Frasier. Alongside Grammer is Jonathan Roumie, renowned for his role as Jesus of Nazareth on the hit religious TV series The Chosen, now in its third season. Kelsey plays Chuck Smith, the once small-town pastor who started Calvary Chapel in 1965 which today boasts 1,800 congregations globally. Roumie plays the controversial Lonnie Frisbee, the bohemian priest who Smith put in charge of a Calvary Chapel ministry, “The House of Miracles.” Frisbee ministered to hippies, addicts, and street people and ran a Bible study that brought thousands into the Calvary Chapel. The film shows the influence of Frisbee on Smith who would open his doors wide to many strata of society for whom the door to the church had not been open.

This true story is based on the eponymic book by Greg Laurie, who is played in the film by Joel Courtney (Super 8). Laurie was not religious until high school at which point he became a devout Christian through the sermons of Frisbee.

Brent McCorkle, codirector of Jesus Revolution, is confident about his new film. In an article in Christian Headlines, McCorkle says, “Most of the people in the flyover states believe in God, and they have faith in Jesus. There’s a lot of us. It’s an underserved market… I think Hollywood is slowly waking up to that there’s kind of this sleeping giant out there, as far as this content could play for a lot of people. And I really think we’re also coming into a place where people are going to be more receptive to faith-genre films that are well done.”