House of David

Amazon’s Jesus Revolution: MGM Signs Up for House of David Adaptation

2 February 2024

2.9 MINS

Jesus Revolution director Jon Erwin is behind a bold Amazon decision to add quality Christian-themed films to its Prime Video online streaming service.

Amazon MGM Studios signed with Erwin’s The Wonder Project in early January.

The exclusive deal will platform House of David, WP’s series adaptation of the life of King David.  

Amazon’s interest is driven by the supercharged popularity of Dallas Jenkens’ The Chosen, an Angel Studios visual paraphrase of Jesus’ life.

Jesus Revolution’s USD $15,000,000 budget, and its USD $54,000,000 in total sales – a profit of $39 million – didn’t go unnoticed either.

Nor did the film’s 99% Rotten Tomatoes audience score, which is a glaring contrast to pompous film critics, who barely gave Jesus Revolution a pass.

People Power

Despite Hollywoke’s sour reviewers, audience demand for faith-based content is soaring, and Amazon appears to be taking note.

This could mean potential deals for other outstanding, non-kitsch Christian content providers, such as Marcus Pitman’s LOOR TV and Candice Cameran-Bure’s GAC (Great American Family).

The deal is great news for Christian content creators, who face an uphill battle against both soft and hard censorship.

This is alongside having to work around Hollywood’s infamous fetish for blacklisting Christian conservatives.

Examples include Kevin Sorbo, Jim Caviezel, and more recently, Neal McDonough.

In 2021, McDonough told Smallville alumni Michael Rosenbaum,

“I won’t do kissing scenes. I’ve never wanted to do it, and you know I got crucified about 10 years ago, where they thought I was this religious zealot, because I wouldn’t do sex scenes.”

“It was really because I love my wife, more than I love my craft.”

Another example of Hollywood’s Christophobic contempt for integrity is The Hollywood Reporter’s contemptuous House of David announcement.

‘Amazon is getting spiritual,’ they chided.

They then described The Chosen’s audience as ‘rabid’.

Solid Start

The Wonder Project teams Erwin up with former Netflix and YouTube executive, digital media veteran Kelly Hoogstraten.

A Dec. 6 press release ‘heralded’ the new [Christian] studio as a ‘bold transformation in values-driven entertainment.’

With a $75 million war chest from both ‘seed and Series A funding’ – so, crowd-sourced, and major industry investment – WP said they are ‘poised to craft high-quality, hopeful entertainment tailored for a substantial faith and values-oriented audience.’

Hoogstraten is signed on as CEO, and Erwin, as founder, will take on the role of Chief Content Officer.

WP is determined, Hoogstraten said, to “flood the world with hope.”

“I am convinced we can make a difference by telling stories that restore hope in things worth believing in — family, community, God, and America,” she added.

“I believe entertainment sits upstream from culture. And today, the world needs a way to find common ground again.”

WP is looking to fill the gap left by the ‘legacy entertainment industry abandoning values-centric films and TV shows.’

As such, WP will seek out creative alliances with like-minded filmmakers.

Ideally, the teams behind A Sound of Freedom, Hostile Territory, and The Passion of the Christ.

This includes the Kendrick Brothers — the pioneering, creative minds behind War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.

The first cab off the rank is a creative alliance with Dallas Jenkins, who is a WP shareholder.

Jenkins, they said, will serve as executive producer and special advisor.

Talking about the agreement, MGM TV head Vernon Sanders told Variety that the WP Team had a “clear and passionate vision for The Wonder Project.”

“Their ambition to nurture universal stories of love, triumph, and spirituality moved us,” he continued.

Sanders asserted support, saying,

“Amazon MGM is very excited about the scope, scale and storytelling involved with ‘House of David’ and look forward to sharing this epic and many others with our global Prime Video customers.”

Unfortunately, Sander’s support is sullied by Hazbin Hotel, a cartoon targeting kids, which ‘portrays God as the villain of the story and demons as the heroes.’

The news of a partnership with Christians seems to contradict Amazon’s latest dark offering (no pun intended).

Nevertheless, House of David is Jon Erwin’s next big idea, not Amazon’s, and it will, Churchleaders.com said, ‘directly involve Christians in Hollywood.’

At the time of writing, the company has not released information on who will take on the roles of David, or play the wealth of characters that surrounded his story as retold in Chronicles, Kings, and Samuel.

Of the three companies handling the series’ production, Lionsgate — The Chosen’s worldwide distributer — is the biggest.

My suggestion to Erwin: bring on Mel Gibson as David in his twilight years.

You know it makes sense.

___

Photo by Caleb Oquendo.

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One Comment

  1. Anna Soh 2 February 2024 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I have been following what has been happening with Christian films for a while and it is good to see this direction is being picked up by some in Hollywood even if it is just to follow the money.

    I still believe it will bring more opportunities for good Christian actors and crew to find work and use their gifts and talents so the rest of us can benefit from more good Christian productions.

    I agree that Mel Gibson will make a good older King David.

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