The status of the highly anticipated documentary surrounding the rise of Hillsong UNITED--Let Hope Rise--is uncertain following distributor/promoter Warner Bros. pulling the film from its April 1 slot.
Far from an elaborate April Fool's joke, the movie was to release Easter weekend, however, according to an article in Variety, Warner Bros. production partners Alcon Entertainment were unable to secure final distribution rights for the film.
The announcement comes in crunch time for the Michael John Warren (Jay-Z's "Fade to Black")-directed project. Promotion for the documentary has been going on for months, perhaps most punctuated by a trailer attached to Disney's latest animated hit, Big Hero 6, during the holiday season.
Here is that trailer:
In an interview with NewReleaseTuesday in November, Hillsong UNITED members J.D. Douglass and Taya Smith said that while they hadn't personally seen any footage, producers and filmographers had done plenty of work capturing the essence of what Hillsong worship does.
"They recorded a few of our worship nights," Smith said. "It's a little scary, but it's cool, and [we're] trusting God that He's going to be all over it."
Without its distributor on board, the immediate future of the film appears to be uncertain, despite the fact that production company Grace Hill Media is still very much on board. The Variety article came out Wednesday, Jan. 14, and since then the Hillsong Movie has yet to make an announcement or comment on its website or social media, however they are posting.
"Hopefully it's really good content," Smith said of the movie in November. "We don't have control over that. But our hope is that people will find Jesus through it."