“He was darkness and light, living in the same body,” says Joanne Cash Yates, the sister of the late singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. “And one fought against the other.”
That emotional and spiritual dichotomy is at the center of a new documentary, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon, which will come to theaters for a limited run Dec. 5-7, 2022. Billboard has the first look at the trailer for the upcoming film.
The project, which was announced at CinemaCon this past spring, draws on access to more than 100 tapes that have never been heard before outside of the Cash family. Those tapes were originally recorded for Cash’s biography and were provided by Yates and singer/producer/songwriter/author John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny and June Carter Cash.
Distributed by Fathom Events, and produced by 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 time 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 passing in September 2003 and included on the album American IV: The Man Comes Around.
”Johnny Cash is an American icon who undoubtedly shaped the musical landscape. Behind the fame is the true story of a man who was haunted by his own inner demons, and through facing them, ultimately found an unshakable faith in God,” said producer Jon Erwin in a statement. “At Kingdom Story Company, we strive to bring inspiring true stories to screen. Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is one such story.”
“I think of all the documentaries made about my dad, he’d be most excited about this one,” added John Carter Cash.
“Here’s the great contradiction — who could be friends with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Billy Graham all at the same time? The answer: Johnny Cash,” said Laurie. “He was a contradiction at times, but he had a deep faith that he always returned to.”
This project marks the second American Icon documentary from Laurie, following 2017’s Steve McQueen: American Icon. Other productions from the company include I Can Only Imagine (based on the hit song from 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: