“He was darkness and light, living in the same body,” says Joanne Cash Yates, sister of the late singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. “And one fought against the other.”
This emotional and spiritual dichotomy is at the center of a new documentary, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Iconwhich will hit theaters for a limited time from December 5-7, 2022. Billboard has the first look at the trailer for the upcoming movie.
The project, which was announced at CinemaCon last spring, builds on access to more than 100 tapes that have never been heard before outside of the Cash family. These tapes were originally recorded for Cash’s biography and were provided by Yates and singer/producer/songwriter/writer John Carter Cash, son of Johnny and June Carter Cash.
Produced by Fathom Events, Kingdom Story Company WTA Media and Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon features Yates and Carter Cash, as well as Sheryl Crow, Tim McGraw, Marty Stuart, Wynonna Judd, Jimmie Allen, Alice Cooper and Franklin Graham, among others.
The project focuses on the period surrounding Cash’s 1971 album man in black. It also details his journey through drug addiction as well as the faith that would influence songs such as “The Man Comes Around”, one of the last songs Cash would record before his death in September 2003 and included on the album. American IV: The Man Returns.
“Johnny Cash is an American icon who has undoubtedly shaped the musical landscape. Behind the stardom lies the true story of a man who was haunted by his own inner demons and who, in confronting them, eventually found an unwavering faith in God,” producer Jon Erwin said in a statement. “At Kingdom Story Company, we strive to bring inspiring true stories to the screen. Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is one of those stories.
“I think of all the documentaries made about my father, he would be most excited about this one,” added John Carter Cash.
“Here’s the big contradiction – who could be friends with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Billy Graham all at the same time? The answer: Johnny Cash,” Laurie said. “He was contradictory at times, but he had a deep faith that he always came back to.”
This project marks Laurie’s second American Icon documentary, after that of 2017 Steve McQueen: American icon. Other company productions include I can only imagine (based on the hit song by contemporary Christian music group MercyMe) and American Underdog, I still believe (based on the life story of contemporary Christian music artist Jeremy Camp).
Watch the trailer for Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon below: