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‘Chosen’ Director to Advise New Faith-Based Studio Formed by ‘Jesus Revolution’ Director and Ex-Netflix Exec

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Two industry insiders have raised more than $75 million to fund the launch of a studio that aims to elevate production values for faith-based, uplifting and inspirational movies and TV shows.

Director-producer Jon Erwin (“Jesus Revolution,” “Woodlawn”) and former YouTube and Netflix executive Kelly Merryman Hoogstraten have joined forces to create the Wonder Project, a production company based in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. The pair see an enormous opportunity to establish a premium brand for faith-based and faith-infused content that is rooted in Christian traditions.

Lionsgate, producer Jason Blum, United Talent Agency, Sovereign’s Capital and Powerhouse Capital are among the notables who have contributed to more than $75 million in seed and Series A funding raised to date. Merryman Hoogstraten serves as CEO; Erwin is chief creative officer. Dallas Jenkins, the independent producer-director behind the drama series “The Chosen,” which revolves around the life of Jesus, will be a special adviser to the company.

“I know there’s opportunity here because I’m part of this audience,” Erwin tells Variety. “My wife and I have four kids. There’s an audience that I serve with the content that we make. I need more of this in my home.”

Erwin scored a sleeper hit earlier this year at the box office with the Lionsgate-distributed film “Jesus Revolution.” He is accustomed to producing projects on shoestring budgets. But with the financial support of partners like Blum, of Blumhouse fame, and Lionsgate, Wonder Project intends to step up the quality, scale and scope of faith-centric film and TV production. They aim to sell shows and movies to mainstream networks, streamers and film distributors in addition to developing their own in-house distribution and streaming options.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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