Why Did It Take 5 Years To Release Sound Of Freedom?
It took 5 years to release Sound Of Freedom because the movie was shelved by Disney. The movie was filmed in 2017.
The 2023 action drama chronicles the story of Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, and his pursuit to end child 'sex trafficking'.
American actor Jim Caviezel portrays Ballard in the film, as requested by the former Department of Homeland Security Agent.
In the film, Ballard leaves his job as a Special Agent with HSI and takes on the role of a vigilante, undertaking a mission to rescue children from human traffickers and cartels in Latin America.
Directed and co-written by Alejandro Monteverde, the movie was released on July 4, 2023, by Angel Studios.
The film, inspired by true events and with Ballard involved in the production, accurately depicts many aspects of what happened to him in real life.
Monteverde and Rod Barr began working on the film's script in 2015. By 2018, they had completed the movie and secured a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox.
However, it took approximately five years for the movie to be released. So, what caused the delay in its release? Let's find out.
Why Did It Take 5 Years To Release Sound Of Freedom?
It took 5 years to release Sound of Freedom as it was shelved by the Walt Disney Company. The film was completed in 2018.
The distributor deal was made with 20th Century Fox. But the studio was purchased by the Walt Disney Company, which later shelved the film after obtaining the rights in their merger process.
Speaking to Washington Examiner at the premiere of the movie, producer Eduardo Verastegui told no one wanted to distribute the film for years even though the film was finished in 2018.
Amazon passed. Netflix passed. Every studio feared losing money.
He told people who watched the movie cried and some even gave it a standing ovation, yet the experts didn't seem to get it.
Verastegui then met Neal Harmon, co-founder and CEO of Angel Studios, last fall. A few months after meeting him, Verastegui pitched the studios on the movie, and things moved swiftly.
After the studio showed Sound of Freedom to investors, who were positive about the project, it agreed in March to distribute the movie.
Brother of Neal and co-founder of Angel Studios, Jordan Harmon, said that in less than 10 days, around 7,200 people invested $5 million in a fund to get the film out into the world.
Even so, it wasn't an easy ride. "This film has been through the wringer. Fox was originally going to distribute it. Then Disney buys Fox and for whatever reason Disney shelves it," Jordan said.
It took Harmon and his team a year to negotiate with Disney to acquire the rights back to Sound of Freedom.
In March 2023, Variety reported that Angel Studios had gained the worldwide distribution rights of the film, with a planned release during the second half of 2023. The studio later set a release date of July 4.
Why is Sound of Freedom controversial?
Sound of Freedom is not without controversy. The release of the film has opened to a slew of mixed reviews from critics and viewers.
While the title is purportedly based on true events involving Ballard and his nonprofit organization, the accounts of those events have been questioned by reporters and researchers.
In a 2020 expose, Vice News says Tim embellished O.U.R.'s role in the rescue of a trafficked woman.
In a follow-up article, Vice further criticized the organization's practices, including celebrities and inexperienced donors as part of its jump team and lack of meaningful identification and surveillance of targets.
Moreover, American Crime Journal's Investigative journalists Lynn Packer and Damion Moore reported that Ballard lied about his involvement in the case showcased in the film.
He also fabricated the details about his child trafficking activities.
Is The Sound Of Freedom A Christian Movie?
Yes, Sound of Freedom is a Christian movie. This faith-based movie addressing the issue of child trafficking is on track to become an unlikely box-office success.
Angel Studios, a crowd-funded media company famous for distributing The Chosen, a show about the life of Jesus Christ, acquired the distributing rights of the film after a year of negotiation with Disney.
Despite the extended journey the title has taken to come to theatres, Harmon explained when he first met Monteverde that either he or Verastegui informed him that this was all part of God's plan.
There is definitely an explosion in faith-based movies this year.
Not only did we open the year with the likes of The Chosen Season 3 finale and the Erwin Brother's The Jesus Revolution but also new genres and players launched.
Angel Studios primarily releases conservative titles, which is more than a rarity in Hollywood.
Caviezel, the lead actor in the film, very much like director Mel Gibson, is very religious and conservative. He has mentioned the need to combat "child trafficking, Satan, and liberal values."
The actor is really only been starring in Christian-based films this past decade. Caviezel recently shared in an interview, that Gibson, one of his good friends, wept while watching Sound of Freedom.
"I showed this movie to two Academy Award-winning film directors. One of them is my good friend, Mel Gibson. The other one likes to remain anonymous. Mel was weeping," he said.
Gibson is known for writing, producing, and directing The Passion of the Christ (2004), an epic biblical drama film. It is the highest-grossing Christain film of all time.
Caviezel starred as Jesus of Nazareth in the film. He described the experience of playing Tim as a meaningful journey like The Passion of the Christ.
"This is the best film I've done since that movie," that actor said.
Sound of Freedom Movie Cast
Sound of Freedom movie cast includes Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Bill Camp, Jose Zuniga, and more. Scott Haze, Gary Basaraba, and Manny Perez also appear in the movie.
Meet the full cast of Sound of Freedom:
- Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard
- Mira Sorvino as Katherine Ballard (Tim's wife)
- Bill Camp as Vampiro
- Jose Zuniga as Roberto
- Kurt Fuller as Frost
- Eduardo Verastegui as Paul
- Gerardo Taracena as El Alacran
- Scott Haze as Chris
- Alanna De La Rossa
- Gary Basaraba as Earl Buchanan
- Yessica Barroto Perryman as Katy-Gisselle
- Manny Perez as Fuego
- Javier Godina as Jorge
- James Quattrochi as Border Patrol captain
- Gustavo Sanches Parra as El Calacas
- Ariel Sierra as Checho
- Eduardo Gomez Monteverde as Bouncer
- Cristal Aparicio as Rocio
- Kris Avedisian as Ernst
- Alejandro Muela as CTI Agent
- Jaime Newball as Bam Bam
- Thali Georges as HSI Special Agent
- Lucas Avila as Miguel
- Gustavo Angarita Jr. as Jail Guard
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