Actor Dennis Quaid to Star in 'I Can Only Imagine' Film Based on MercyMe Song

Cast member Dennis Quaid is interviewed at the premiere of the movie 'The Special Relationship' at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles May 19, 2010.
Cast member Dennis Quaid is interviewed at the premiere of the movie "The Special Relationship" at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles May 19, 2010. | (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid will be starring in the upcoming film "I Can Only Imagine," which is based on the popular Christian song of the same name.

Little did contemporary Christian band MercyMe know in 1999 that their song would go on to sell over 2 million digital downloads, be certified almost 3x platinum, and now have a movie made about it.

The crossover hit went on to be the "most played Christian radio single in history." Now, almost a decade later, "I Can Only Imagine" is having a faith-based movie made about it starring actors Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman, among other familiar Hollywood names.

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According to deadline, the movie is set for a spring 2018 release. Jon and Andrew Erwin, the Christian filmmakers behind "Woodlawn," "Moms' Night Out" and "October Baby" are directing "I Can Only Imagine."

The members of MercyMe are more than thrilled about the production of the film, and frontman Bart Millard took to social media to reveal that the project has been in the making for years.

"I was first approached over five years ago. No turning back now," Millard wrote.

Only time will tell if the song lyrics, which speak of one's experience when coming face to face with God, will transcend on the big screen. 

"Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel

Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still

Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all

I can only imagine," The song lyrics say.

The lyrics were written after the death of Millard's father. He said he was stunned when both Christian and mainstream stations played the tune. The band believes it was Jesus' message that really grabbed the public's attention.

"Word just started getting out. Our label didn't know what to do with it. How do you even promote this?" Millard recalled during an interview with The Church Boys. "They agreed to send a copy to the stations and say, 'Play it once and if you don't get a reaction just throw it out.'"

For more information about MercyMe and the film's release, follow the band on Facebook.

Follow Jeannie Law on Twitter: @jlawcp Follow Jeannie Law on Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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