The director of God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2, Harold Cronk, is working on his next film, God Bless the Broken Road. And yes, the Rascal Flatts hit with the same name is the inspiration for the new film. The song, which was originally recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1994, is about finding love after many attempts fail; it is basically about God having a hand in finding true love as part of “a grander plan.”
“Every long lost dream led me to where you are
And others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms”
The Rascal Flatts inspired movie will be filmed in the Rockford and Marne areas in West Michigan, according to Wood TV Channel 8. A closed local restaurant in Rockford will be reopened as a location site for the movie. The restaurant, Rosie’s Diner, is an iconic 1950s style diner that has been closed for years. The diner will be used as a backdrop for God Bless the Broken Road. Wood TV 8 talked to the film’s executive producer, Stephen Afendoulis, who said the movie was “an exploration of faith.”
The movie is about a young mother, Amber, who loses her husband in the Afghanistan war. Amber loses her faith in God because of this, and the movie is about “her journey home,” said Afendoulis. Afendoulis said the movie embodies God, faith and family, ideas that are “close to the hearts of many in West Michigan.” Afendoulis added that “country music, stock car racing and paying honor to our veterans” was also a theme of the movie.
The Rascal Flatts song God Bless the Broken Road was written by a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and recorded by them in 1994. The song was later made famous by Rascal Flatts and ultimately the inspiration for the new movie. Just like in the song, the main character in the movie, Amber, will find the “broken road” that will lead her to true love as well as back to her faith in God.
Cronk is also a West Michigan native and graduate of Central Michigan University graduate who began his film career as an art director and production designer in Los Angeles. In 2008, Harold Cronk moved back to his home state and founded his film company, 10 West Studios, in order to focus on family and faith-based content, according to an article by Deadline. Cronk wrote the script for the movie with Jennifer Dornbrush. Andy Fraser, a producer for A Really Good Home Pictures, is also joining producers Afendoulis, Dustin Soloman and Edgar Struble. Cronk told Deadline about how important the film was to him.
“I felt it was important to show someone in a crisis of faith in the face of overwhelming loss.”
Besides the iconic Rosie’s Diner, filming will also take place at the Berlin Raceway and other locations in Manistee and Grand Rapids, MI. A publicist for the movie told Wood TV 8 that the movie will possibly be released in the “fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.” The film is also supposed to create jobs for at least 92 Michigan workers. These jobs will be the equivalent to 20 full-time positions, according to the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office. In addition to the jobs created, many people also have the chance to be extras for the movie, as seen in the following Twitter post.
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