Christian Filmmakers Fulfill 'Dying Wish' of Steve McQueen in New Movie (Interview)

Steve McQueen
"Steve McQueen: American Icon" Official Trailer hit theaters on Sept. 28, 2017. |

Pastor Greg Laurie teamed up with popular Christian filmmakers The Erwin Brothers ("Woodlawn," "Mom's Night Out") to share the never before told story of American icon Steve McQueen and his journey to Christian faith.

For one-night only on Sept. 28, American Icon Films LLC and Fathom Events is bringing "Steve McQueen: American Icon" to U.S. theaters everywhere. The Jon and Andy Erwin-directed documentary will give this new generation an inside look into the life of the highest-paid actor in Hollywood in his era — McQueen, known as "The King of Cool."

People may recognize McQueen from his legendary films such as "Bullitt," "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" but this film will explore beyond his Hollywood success and provide insight into his troubled childhood, and the spiritual journey he was on that ultimately led to a genuine Christian faith before his death.

"My hope for this film is that people would be entertained," filmmaker Jon Erwin told The Christian Post in a recent interview. "I love telling stories that are entertaining and emotionally available. I feel like if you tell the right story in the right way, we hold this belief that entertainment can be a part of changing someone's life."

Erwin said Jesus told "incredibly relatable stories." So he and his brother, Andy, want to always focus on stories that are relatable as well, along with showcasing the "transformational power" of the Gospel no matter what a person's belief is.

"[It's the] untold story of the biggest movie star in the world, the highest paid movie star in the world and how this guy climbed up from nothing and the worst situations he could be in as a child, to the biggest movie star in the world and then he realized that it didn't make him happy," the director said, running through some of the focal points featured in "Steve McQueen: American Icon."

Erwin noted that many people live under the "lie" that if they are accomplished, successful or rich, they would be happy. However, he said McQueen is a prime example that that is not the case.

"Steve McQueen: American Icon" features an exclusive recorded interview that the entertainer did two weeks before he died, but for some reason the interview never surfaced. McQueen's widow, model Barbara Minty McQueen, shared the interview with The Erwin Brothers, as well as some of her candid photographs from McQueen's last years.

steve mcqueen
A new exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Musuem in Los Angeles titled "Steve McQueen The Legend and the Cars" is shown during a press preview September 23, 2005. The exhibit showcase's McQueen's cars, motorcycles and other memorabilia of the legendary auto enthusiast who died from cancer on November 7, 1980. |

"I'm very grateful that Barbara McQueen agreed to be involved. She was also an executive producer in the film. So a lot of great things came from that relationship," Erwin said.

The exclusive interview tape that somewhat narrates the film was "unbelievably moving," according to Erwin, and featured many great quotes about McQueen's faith.

"Steve talked about his childhood and said, 'When a kid doesn't have love when you're young you think you're not worth anything,'" the movie director shared.

"He was like what Eminem is to music today, he was that, to that era of film," Erwin continued. "You had all these squared-jawed, upper-class actors and then here comes this scrappy rebel street kid that willed himself to the very top of the entertainment industry. It really is this underdog American success story. Yet when he got to the pinnacle of that success, he wasn't happy."

The tape also shows McQueen's heart to share his faith with others which will now be, thanks to the film, evangelism beyond the grave.

"This is the first time in my filmmaking career that I felt like an investigative journalist and I'm almost breaking a story," Erwin gushed. "I do believe that this documentary fulfills one of the dying wishes of Steve McQueen, the biggest movie star in the world of his day."

In the movie, McQueen says, "I want to change people's lives. I want people to know what has happened to me."

When asked if he found the cure to life, he said, "Finding the Lord was the cure" in his life. He even ended his never before heard interview by saying, "My body's gone, it's broken but my spirit isn't broken."