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Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson’s Faith-Filled Biopic Lands at Sony

Photo via Mark Wahlberg on Instagram

Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson’s Faith-Filled Biopic Lands at Sony

By Movieguide® Staff

Sony Pictures recently acquired FATHER STU, the biography of Father Stuart Long, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson. 

Rosalind Ross is set to direct the biopic, which has a scheduled release date of April 15, on Good Friday. 

“Father Stu’s journey from troublemaker to clergyman was inspiring to many, including me,” Wahlberg told Variety in a past interview. “Rosey has done an incredible job capturing the essence of who he was and how he affected the people he met. I hope that with this film, we keep his spirit alive and continue his good works.”

Movieguide® previously reported

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wahlberg wanted to make a movie to honor the life and faith of boxer turned minister Father Stuart Long after the priest died on June 9, 2014. He was just 50 years old.  

Early on in Father Stu’s life, he was a self-described “anti-Christian” and passionate about sports like football and boxing–not about his faith. 

“God was working behind the scenes. He was within me but I was outside,” Father Stu said in retrospect, quoting St. Augustine. 

However, Long’s life changed forever after what should have been a fatal motorcycle accident.  

God had a different plan for Long. One week after being admitted to the hospital, Long was allowed to leave and went immediately to a church to discuss his faith with a priest. 

“People are ultimately drawn to the Truth,” Long would say later. 

According to Patheos, Father Long’s short tenure as a priest did not deter him from his service to his congregation and community in Monrovia, California, at the parish Legion of Mary. 

Friend of Father Long, Father Sean Raftis, pastor of St. Richard Catholic Church in Columbia Falls, Montana, recalled

“He was very Christlike. It was great, because he was a great priest, but he was like an old shoe, in a way. He could talk to anybody. He was just a very charismatic man. He just drew so many people to him. And it was very interesting, because the time he drew so many people to him is when he was suffering the most.”