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10th anniversary ‘Courageous’ updates storyline with fresh scenes, new ending

ALBANY, Ga. (BP) — They ceremoniously took an oath to be men of courage. The 2011 movie “Courageous” ended with the lead cast of fathers in various stages of fulfilling their new vow to God and their families.

Officer Adam Mitchell was becoming a more present father for his 15-year-old son Dylan. Officer Nathan Hayes had instilled in his teenage daughter Jade her worth and had begun to mentor the fatherless boy Jade wanted to date. Rookie cop David Thomson acknowledged and began to care for his out-of-wedlock daughter, officer Shane Fuller’s greed landed him in prison, and the officers’ comical friend Javier Martinez was enjoying a promotion at work.

Moviegoers will see the fathers’ progress in “Courageous the Legacy Edition,” the film’s 10th anniversary update The Kendrick Brothers and Sherwood Pictures will release in September 2021 with a new ending.

“We had a conversation about the fact that the principles in Courageous, especially for fatherhood, were just as applicable today as when the movie was released a decade ago,” director and actor Alex Kendrick said Tuesday (Dec. 8). “And in many circumstances you had a new generation of fathers that did not have children 10 years ago, that would process the movie and those principles differently, because of their new role and perspective on children.

“Then we began talking about how interesting it would be to see where the characters were 10 years later. When you begin applying new principles to your role as father or parenting, what would that look like over a decade? What would the result of that be?”

With Sony Pictures on board, the Kendrick Brothers wrote new scenes, filmed them in October and are in the post-production phase of the updated film. The original Courageous has been re-edited to flow more quickly, new cinematic shots have been added, deleted scenes have been reborn and new technology has been utilized in the production.

“If you loved the original movie, it’s still there. But now, you’ll see new shots here and there throughout the original movie and then an entirely new ending,” Kendrick said. “The original movie ends with the climactic scene, and then it will literally say ’10 years later’ on the screen, and we’ll fade in on the city 10 years later.

“I love the result of it. I love seeing how these characters grow over the course of the film, and where you get to catch up to them 10 years later. I’m not sure how many movies have done that. I know movies will age their actors with makeup … but actually seeing the same people in the same movie 10 years later is very interesting.”

The new movie will address some of the current law enforcement struggles and societal crises, Kendrick said, but will primarily address timeless concerns of fatherhood and discipleship.

“We do address some law enforcement issues … where it is applicable to what’s going on in culture,” he said, “but we don’t name any groups per se officially, only because … we didn’t do that 10 years ago. … I think when you see the film you’ll say, ‘This certainly does relate to what’s going on today, but we don’t name any groups specifically, only because we’re hoping that the impact of this film still has life in it for years to come.”

The Kendrick Brothers will present as a complement to the movie the documentary “Show Me the Father,” presenting true stories of people’s relationships with their earthly father and the heavenly Father. Show Me the Father will be a separate theatrical release in 2021, Kendrick said.

Dougherty County law enforcement is still utilized in the movie, and Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church under the leadership of Senior Pastor Michael Catt, will own the new film. The pastor executive produced Courageous and other Sherwood Pictures offerings produced before the Kendrick Brothers expanded their filmmaking ministry beyond the church, with their pastor’s blessing. Their latest movies, including 2015’s “War Room” and the “Overcomer” in 2019, were produced independent of Sherwood Church, although Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick are still active members of the congregation.

“Courageous is owned by the church,” Alex Kendrick said. “This new one, Courageous (the Legacy Edition), it’s still a Sherwood Pictures movie. Sherwood of course is going to be fair to us, and say you’ll get paid X amount as you work on the new version of the movie. But it’s still a Sherwood Pictures movie.”

Courageous earned more than $35 million at box offices worldwide and more than $22 million in domestic video sales, according to TheNumbers.com movie earnings tracking site. Sherwood Pictures’ earnings from several Kendrick Brothers’ films have financed church ministry and outreaches.

“The church has used their percentage (of earnings) for ministry and for outreach, and for things that everyone would be proud of,” Kendrick said. “‘Flywheel,’ ‘Facing the Giants,’ ‘Fireproof,’ Courageous, those belong to Sherwood Baptist Church. When my brothers and I wrote and produced those, we were on staff at Sherwood Baptist Church.”

With Sherwood Pictures earnings, Kendrick said, Sherwood Baptist founded and operates the 82-acre Legacy Park for youth sports and Christian discipleship, and the Hope Center outreach to the homeless and needy, both in Albany. The church supports many International Mission Board missionaries.

The Kendrick Brothers plan to release the Courageous the Legacy Edition trailer in the spring of 2021, with details available at Courageousthemovie.com.