One of the most remarkable and popular songs in the history of Christian music is the inspiration for a new faith-based movie starring actors Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, among other familiar names.
“I Can Only Imagine,” the popular hit by Christian band Mercy Me, serves as the centerpiece for the feature film by the same name.
The “I Can Online Imagine” movie, which will release on March 16, is directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, the popular filmmaking brothers known for previous features such as “Woodlawn,” “Moms’ Night Out” and “October Baby.”
One of the most fascinating details surrounding the song is the way in which it went from a benign Christian tune in 1999 to a mainstream smash hit, becoming what some have called the “most played Christian radio single in history.”
And nearly two decades after the song was written, it is still inspiring the masses, with a new film and book based on the lyrics that hold the power to transform perspectives and change lives.
Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard, whose real-life story is the basis of the movie, told Faithwire during a Facebook Live on Monday that he believes the “I Can Only Imagine” movie will fill viewers’ hearts with hope.
“I think that everyone has someone in their life that I think they’ve either written off, that God can’t reach, there’s no hope for them. Or maybe they think that way of themselves,” Millard said. “As long as there’s breath in their lungs, their story is still being written … no one’s out of the reach of Christ.”
Watch Millard talk about his new movie as well as the insane story surrounding the “I Can Only Imagine” song below:
MercyMe Music singer Bart Millard is here to talk "I Can Only Imagine" and plenty more!Get more from the interview in our newsletter: http://faithwire.com/newsletter
Posted by Faithwire on Monday, March 12, 2018
Millard went on to explain how “I Can Only Imagine” — a song about Jesus and heaven — ended up on mainstream radio after some shock jocks essentially decided to play it on their show as a joke.
While the song was originally released in 1999 in Christian circles, it was new to most radio listeners a few years later when Fitz, Tony and Big Gay Steven, the then-hosts of Wild 101 FM’s “The Fitz Show,” reportedly decided to play it.
And almost immediately, their phone lines lit up with people asking for “I Can Only Imagine” to be played again…and again. Before long, the band’s record label was sending the song out to top 40 stations across America.
Something about the song’s Jesus message was apparently resonating in a big way.
And the song just kept on spreading, topping charts across America and inspiring mainstream radio listeners in the most unexpected of ways.
While that story was remarkable in its own regard, Millard has now gone on to make a movie and to write an autobiography by the same name. Here’s more on the “I Can Only Imagine” book.