$75 million raised to start new faith-based production company, ‘The Chosen’ creator Dallas Jenkins as adviser

Actor Jonathan Roumie plays Lonnie Frisbee in “Jesus Revolution,” a real-life drama about the 1970s Jesus Movement.
Actor Jonathan Roumie plays Lonnie Frisbee in “Jesus Revolution,” a real-life drama about the 1970s Jesus Movement. | Dan Anderson, Lionsgate
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“Jesus Revolution” director Jon Erwin and Netflix executive Kelly Merryman Hoogstraten are teaming up to start a new production company for faith-based and inspirational content.

The news comes as faith-based productions like “The Chosen” and “Jesus Revolution” have performed well at the box office and become popular.

The pair have raised more than $75 million to fund the company known as the Wonder Project, Variety reported. “The pair see an enormous opportunity to establish a premium brand for faith-based and faith-infused content that is rooted in Christian traditions.”

What is the Wonder Project?

“The dream of the Wonder Project is to create a trusted brand that serves the faith and values audience globally with movies and TV shows they didn’t know were possible,” Erwin said in a press release. “We will achieve this by giving the creatives dedicated to this audience (including myself) a level of freedom and resources they’ve never had before.”

“I believe entertainment sits upstream from culture. And today, the world needs a way to find common ground again,” Hoogstraten said in a press release. “Here at the Wonder Project, our goal is 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.”

“We will do this at scale for a global audience that seeks faith and values-driven entertainment. And we will give the audience a brand they can call their own,” Hoogstraten added.

“The Chosen” creator and director Dallas Jenkins will reportedly be a special adviser to the Wonder Project.

“I’m so thrilled there’s a place for people like me who can have the creative freedom and a connection to the audience,” Jenkins said, per Variety.

Projects like “The Chosen” and “Heaven is for Real” instilled a sense of confidence that faith-based content could succeed.

“These projects’ accomplishments are a testament to the hunger for such storytelling; however, the mainstream, legacy entertainment industry has been inconsistent in its backing of values-centric films and TV shows, leaving an opportunity for WP (Wonder Project) to fill the demand from this global audience,” the press release said.

“I look forward to the many high-quality stories this talented team will curate and produce for the faith and values-based audience across the globe over the coming years,” Jason Blum, an investor for the Wonder Project, said.