Sound of Freedom is an exciting new thriller movie that tells the incredible true story of Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel. Tim Ballard is a federal agent who started Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), a non-profit group whose goal is to rescue children from s*x trafficking.
The film has been making waves in the entertainment industry, not only because of its gripping storyline but also due to the controversy surrounding it. Surprisingly, it has achieved remarkable success at the box office, securing the third spot in domestic charts, right after Indiana Jones 5 and the latest Insidious movie.
Since its release on July 4, Sound of Freedom has sparked debates on social media, particularly regarding its distribution and its connection to Disney. If you’re curious to know more about these aspects, we’ve got you covered with all the details.
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Did Disney Own Sound of Freedom?
Certainly, Sound of Freedom was formerly under the ownership of Disney following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. Despite the recent release of the film, the script’s development commenced as early as 2015. It was filmed three years later, during which a distribution agreement was forged with the 20th Century Fox movie studio.
However, when the Disney-Fox merger took place and Disney assumed control of the rights, the media conglomerate decided to shelve the project. Consequently, a purported battle ensued for the filmmakers to liberate Sound of Freedom, so to speak.
Eduardo Verastegui, the movie’s producer, discussed the ardent pursuit of sharing Tim Ballard’s story, revealing that despite the film’s completion in 2018, no distributor was willing to pick it up for several years. According to reports, Netflix and Amazon declined the opportunity, citing concerns about potential financial losses.
However, the situation took a turn in the autumn of 2022 when Verastegui met with Neal Harmon, the CEO of Angel Studios. Neal, together with his brothers Jeffrey and Jordan, co-founded the company.
While the Harmon family is known to be affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and Angel Studios is responsible for producing “The Chosen,” a television series about the life of Jesus, the studio itself is not formally linked to any specific religion.
Angel Studios, which operates its own streaming service of the same name, employs equity crowdfunding to finance its projects, providing investors with an opportunity to purchase shares in the company and its productions.
When the studio presented Sound of Freedom to its investors, they expressed enthusiasm for the project. As a result, in March of this year, Angel Studios agreed to distribute the film.
Jordan Harmon, speaking on behalf of Angel Studios, revealed that within a span of less than ten days, approximately 7,200 individuals invested $5 million to ensure the film’s release into the world.
Thus far, it seems that these investors are poised to reap the rewards of their investment, as Sound of Freedom has surpassed expectations at the box office.
Disney owned the rights to Sound of Freedom, and they decided not to release it:
Disney owned the rights to Sound of Freedom, and they decided not to release it.
So Angel Studios bought the rights.
Then they decided to do the work to get it released into theaters, and they beat out Disney’s own Indiana Jones on July 4th.
~Significant Man Ministries pic.twitter.com/OVeI03QxIU
— TraderJill 👑 Pronouns: Wtf/Is/Wrong/With/You (@LadyJustice4512) July 13, 2023
Why Did Disney Decide to Shelve Sound of Freedom?
Disney hasn’t said anything public about why it canceled Sound of Freedom, but there’s a lot of talk about it online. Some people think it might have something to do with the controversy surrounding the movie.
As we explained in our article on the topic, there have been questions about the legitimacy of OUR’s rescue missions. A 2020 investigation led by Vice World News found a “divide between the group’s actual practices and some of its claimed successes.”
At the time, the Attorney’s Office of Davis County, Utah, said that criminal investigations were being done on OUR and Tim Ballard because of complaints that the group had done illegal things to raise money. However, this year, the investigation was dropped.
But the fact that Sound of Freedom has been linked to QAnon has worried many people the most. Both Ballard and Jim Caviezel, who plays him, have supported conspiracy theories that came out of the movement.
For example, the movement thinks that Satanic elitists are running a child s*x trafficking ring and plotted against Donald Trump while he was president.
Rolling Stone said in its review of the movie, “Over and over, the far right turns to these sordid fantasies about godless monsters hurting children. Now, as in the 1980s Satanic panic, they won’t even face the fact that most kids who suffer s*xual abuse are harmed not by a shadowy cabal of strangers, but at the hands of a family member. “
“To know thousands of adults will absorb Sound of Freedom, this vigilante fever dream, and come away thinking themselves better informed on a hidden civilizational crisis… well, it’s profoundly depressing.”
On the other side, people who back Ballard, OUR, and Sound of Freedom have said that Disney and the media turned down the distribution deal to stop the truth from getting out to people across America.
Some even say that the House of Mouse is part of the so-called “Satanic Hollywood elite.” One person wrote on Twitter, “Disney TURNED DOWN Sound of Freedom but made a satanic movie about a teenage girl having a baby with a devil. Why was DISNEY against fighting child trafficking but OK with satanism?!”
Another person, who posted a picture of Ghislaine Maxwell at Disney, said,“Disney owned the rights to the newly released anti-child s*x trafficking movie, The Sound of Freedom after it acquired Fox Studios.”
“However, Disney did not release the movie. But instead decided to fight back and forth with José Eduardo Verástegui Córdoba who then obtained the distribution rights to the movie and then took it over to Angel Studios so that the movie could finally be released and we the public would finally have the chance to see the movie after it ate dust for 5 years sitting on a shelf.”
And a third asked: “@Disney just wondering if you wanted to make a statement about the claims from the Sound of Freedom, people saying you stonewalled the release of their film. A lot of people would like to know your official position on this matter.”
So far, that’s all we know about how Disney used to own Sound of Freedom. If the House of Mouse makes a statement on the matter, we’ll make sure to update this story.