Throughout his acting career, Stephen Baldwin has been known by many names: The Other Baldwin, The Other, Other Baldwin, and even The Republican Baldwin. These days, however, he wants to be known as something else entirely—The Christian Baldwin. Though he hasn’t had a hit since The Usual Suspects in 1995, Baldwin is preparing to direct his first feature film—a faith-based story about a 19th century preacher who helps convert steamboat-casinos into “missionary ships.” With a budget of $25 million, the movie, Baldwin explains in studioese, is basically O Brother, Where Art Thou? meets The Passion of the Christ. It’s also a launching pad for his new career. “You’re catching me on the precipice of a transition from mainstream, or secular stuff, to almost full-time faith-based stuff,” says Baldwin. “And there is a tidal wave of faith-based content coming in the next ten years.”

As Easter nears, the growing Christian cinema industry is overflowing with family-friendly, God-loving, and irony-and-sex-free “faith-based stuff.” Last month, The Lion of Judah—which tells the Easter story in 3D through farm animals—took home the award for best animated movie at Milan’s Sabaoth International Film Festival, the Sundance of the faith-based market. Also hitting screens is The Resurrection of the Christ, which—with an estimated budget of $20 million—is seen by many as the natural, albeit completely unofficial, sequel to the $600-plus million blockbuster The Passion of the Christ.

Continue Reading on www.businessweek.com