by Danita White
Hollywood’s Christian super-producer DeVon Franklin is set to produce a movie based on the story behind the hit song “Reckless Love” by worship leader Cory Asbury.
According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures has acquired the feature and it will be produced through Franklin’s Franklin Entertainment label, which has a first-look deal at Paramount. Writer J. Mills Goodloe is set to pen the screenplay. He previously wrote The Mountain Between Us, The Age of Adaline, and To All The Boys: PS I Still Love You, among others.
“Reckless Love” is based on the real-life love story between Asbury and his wife Anna, and the movie will show the heart behind the critically acclaimed Christian worship song of the same title. Asbury is a worship pastor at Radiant Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is a member of the Bethel Music collective. The Asbury’s also live in Kalamazoo and now have four children.
Asbury revealed in an Instagram post that he was first approached by Franklin about making a “Reckless Love” movie in the summer of 2018 and had every intention of telling him “no”.
“Taking advantage of the success of a song God had freely given me felt a bit exploitative,” the singer shared. “I didn’t want to ‘milk it’ for all it was worth. I wanted to protect and preserve its purity at all costs, which in my mind, meant NOT ‘selling out’ to cool opportunities that came my way. I was also mindful of the fragility of my relationship with my dad (upon which parts of the initial story were predicated) and I didn’t want to expose him (or myself) in an untimely manner.”
Despite his initial refusal to do the movie, a couple of questions that Franklin asked struck Asbury’s heart: What if this film is bigger than you and your story? What if it brings healing to your dad and dads all across the world?
After asking his dad’s permission to do the movie and after much prayer throughout his sabbatical year (2019), Asbury came to the realization that the movie was the vehicle God wanted to use to get the message of His love to the world.
Asbury said, “We’ve got a lot of work to do to bring this project to completion, but I am incredibly excited to share the story with you all. The film is about surrender, about letting go and falling into the reckless love of God. It follows the story of a broken young man who finds God and family at the cost of well … everything. And my wife is the hero, not me.”
In 2018, when the album/song was released, it spent 68 weeks on the Hot Christians Songs chart, 18 weeks at number one and 55 weeks in the top 10. It has over 300 million total streams and more than 125 million views on YouTube. It won three GMA Dove Awards including Song of the Year, Worship Song of the Year, and Worship Album of the Year. And was also nominated for a 2019 Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.
Along with being a film producer, Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author and preacher. He has produced such works as Breakthrough, The Star, and Miracles From Heaven. Upcoming projects that he is working on include a biopic about multi-platinum Gospel singer Kirk Franklin and Flamin’ Hot, a biopic about the creator of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos directed by Eva Longoria. For “Reckless Love”, Franklin will be joined in his producing role by another well-known Christian singer-songwriter, Israel Houghton.
In an Instagram post showing a photo of him and Cory, Houghton said:
I’ve said often over the past couple decades that – “Life Moves At The Speed Of Relationship”. I’ll always choose relationship over opportunity. That said, I’m grateful for the relationship that I’ve been blessed to develop with the genius songwriter & great human that is @coryasbury & my good friend, the incredible visionary @devonfranklin – filmaker extraordinaire. Consequently I’m honored that an amazing opportunity has emerged from this relationship. Reckless Love the Movie. Let’s Go!!!
I’m truly excited to be an Executive Producer on what we believe will be a compelling and groundbreaking film! We are in very very capable hands with our amazing writer @themillsgoodloe. So… Stay tuned. This is gonna be Epic.
Echoing Houghton, Franklin said, “RECKLESS LOVE by my brother @coryasbury is one of the most emotional and transcendent songs I’ve ever heard. It overwhelms you with the reminder of how powerful the love of Christ really is. It’s a song that haunts you and holds you … I’m committed to bringing inspiring stories to the screen and when I heard about @coryasbury and his wife @annamasbury love story behind the song, I knew I had to tell their story.”
A release date for the movie has yet to be announced.