By Aaron Earls
New information has emerged about the sixth film from the successful Christian filmmakers, Stephen, Alex, and Shannon Kendrick.
Overcomer completed filming on Friday (July 27) and will be released in theaters August 23, 2019. Sony’s AFFIRM Films will handle the marketing and distribution.
“Overcomer is the next powerful film from Alex and Stephen Kendrick,” said Rich Peluso, Executive Vice President of AFFIRM Films, “storytellers who have impacted the lives and hearts of millions of people around the world, had their work translated into over 40 languages and counting, and generated over $150 million in worldwide box office so far.”
What is Overcomer about?
The film features Alex Kendrick as a high school coach John Harrison who must transition from basketball to cross country after the town’s largest employer goes out of business and families begin to leave the school.
John and his wife, Amy (Shari Rigby), question how they family will face an uncertain future.
Then they meet Hannah (Aryn Wright-Thomson), an aspiring athlete who’s pushing her limits on a journey toward discovery. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new-found friend, John becomes the least likely coach helping the least likely runner attempt the impossible in the biggest race of the year.
After starring in War Room, Priscilla Shirer returns to the big screen as the school’s principal.
On the Kendrick Brothers’ Facebook page, the company wrote: “Here’s the news you’ve been asking about” with a link to an article from the Ledger-Enquirer detailing the history of Overcomer and its filming in Columbus, Georgia.
“We believe that God has led us to this theme, this team, and to Columbus to shoot this summer,” the three brothers told the paper.
The budget has not yet been announced, but Stephen Kendrick told the Ledger-Enquirer it was more than the $3 million budget for War Room, the brother’s most recent film.
They shared several stories of what they called “divine appointments” during their location scouting and filming in and around Columbus.
One includes the Kendricks unintentionally meeting their aunt in a hospital who then introduced the filmmakers to “the pastor of the most praying church in Columbus.”
Paul Thomas, pastor of Evangel Temple, said as the Kendrick brothers were in the hospital, he was across the street at a Starbucks when he felt drawn to the hospital.
“I didn’t even get in my car, I just walked over,” Thomas told Ledger-Enquirer. “I don’t think it was an accident. The Lord connected us that day.”
The brothers began a relationship with the church after that meeting.
“All of this stuff just started happening,” Stephen Kendrick, producer of the film, said. “We show up and this unity of prayer happens here.”
Filming in Secret
The Kendrick brothers sought to keep the production and filming under wraps. They limited their footprint in the city, but they also had the cooperation of those involved.
“We have requested from the local people to have this on a need-to-know basis. They have honored that,” Stephen Kendrick told Ledger-Enquirer. “The churches have honored that. It has been beautiful.”
Kendrick said they “felt so welcome and truly appreciate the many businesses, schools and loving pastors and churches who came alongside us to support our efforts.”
Thomas said the company told those involved that extra attention could harm the process.
“They asked pastors not to stand up in the pulpits and talk about this. And they understood because they wanted to help them,” he said. “It’s almost like the Lord gave them favor.”
The Kendricks hope that favor extends to the box office run of Overcomer because it has some large shoes to fill.
War Room is the seventh-highest grossing Christian film of all-time, according to Box Office Mojo. The 2015 Kendrick Brothers’ movie grossed almost $67.8 million in the U.S.
Earlier in 2018, the Kendrick brothers celebrated a decade and a half of ministry with the 15th anniversary of the theatrical premiere of Flywheel, their first feature film.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.