Jim Gaffigan Will Play Chuck Smith in Feature Film About 1970s Jesus Movement

Actor Jim Gaffigan presents the award for Best Comedy Series at the 23rd Critics' Choice Awards. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Jim Gaffigan and Super 8's Joel Courtney will star in Jesus Revolution, a new movie about the rise of the Jesus Movement in 1970s Southern California. Deadline reports Courtney will play a teenaged Greg Laurie—the international evangelist who founded Harvest Christian Fellowship—while Gaffigan will play Chuck Smith, Laurie's mentor and the pastor of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California.

The film will be directed by Jon Gunn, who directed 2017's The Case for Christ and 2015's Do You Believe? Gunn and Jon Erwin, who wrote and directed I Can Only Imagine and I Still Believe, wrote the screenplay. Kevin Downes and Jon and Andrew Erwin will act as producers.

Gaffigan, a comedian who has been public about his strong Catholic faith, told Deadline, "This is a distinctly American story of rebirth. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time when spirituality was on the wane, leaving a lot of people searching for answers in other places. I'm excited to play a pastor who helped make a home for the people most desperate for those answers and built a congregation—a coming together of people—to make something greater than themselves."

Gunn added, "I love this era. The defiant search for truth, the fight against oppression, the hope for a better future in the midst of social turmoil. In that way, it's not unlike our world today. And I couldn't be more excited to work with Jim and Joel to tell this honest, captivating story that will serve as a powerful reminder that radical love really can change the world."

No release date has been announced yet for Jesus Revolution.


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