The faith based film “I Can Only Imagine” starring Priscilla Shirer, Dennis Quaid, and J. Michael Finley as Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe, hits theaters March 16th.
I Can Only Imagine is based off the Christian group’s hit single of the same name written by lead singer Bart Millard.
“My dad was a monster. I saw God transform him from a man i hated into a man i wanted to become.”
Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart. He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life. As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father. But a career-ending injury—combined with the vision of a teacher (Mrs. Fincher, played by Priscilla Shirer) who saw unlimited potential—set Bart on a musical pathway.
“She’s like a Moses who calls out Joshua and says ‘This is what you are capable of doing. You don’t know it, and you don’t see it, but there’s a gift there, and I’m going to make you use it whether you like it or not,'” Shirer told Baptist Press.
“Everybody needs someone who sees in them what they do not see in themselves,” Shirer said, “and gives them an opportunity to operate in that gifting, even when they would prefer to sulk in their devastated dreams.”
Shirer portrays a light in Millard’s childhood hardened by a mother’s desertion and a father’s abuse.
Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart, Bart hits the road in an old, decrepit tour bus with his new band MercyMe—named for his grandmother’s favorite expression. With the guidance of a grizzled music-industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.