Sound of Freedom producer and actor Eduardo Verástegui recently revealed that not only did The Walt Disney Company pass on the film after they acquired its rights during the Fox purchase, but they also demanded he pay them.

Eduardo Verástegui as Pablo in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

Speaking with Breitbart News’ Hannah Bleau, Verástegui explained why it took so long for the film to come to theaters despite it being completed years ago.

RELATED: ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Actor Jim Caviezel Explains How Playing Tim Ballard Changed Him As A Person

He said, “After we finished the film, three, almost three, four years ago, at that time I made a beautiful deal with Fox Latin America. It was beautiful. It was one movie, it was a documentary, it was a TV series, and many other things.”

“But then after that deal, months later, we didn’t see this was coming; Disney bought Fox and all my friends who I made the deal with, they left,” Verástegui recounted. “So now I’m at Disney, I show the movie to them, finished. And they told me this movie is not for us. And you say, ‘Okay, well, not everything is for everybody, I understand, but just give me my movie back.'”

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, Javier Godino as Jorge, and Bill Camp as Vampiro in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

He then revealed Disney demanded payment from him, “They said, ‘Yes, well, you owe us some money, you know, to us because the debt that you had before with Fox, and now it belongs to us.'”

Verástegui then recalled his response, “‘I know, but what about then the documentary, what about the TV series, what about the money that you owe me too? Because you said that when I finished the film they were going to pay me this amount.’ So we started negotiating for a year. Now, a year is a lot of time because I wanted this film out. So it was one year. At the end we negotiated.”

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

RELATED: ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Producer And Actor Eduardo Verástegui Responds To CNN Guest Mike Rothschild Trashing The Film And Moviegoers

Next, he detailed that not only did Disney pass on the film, but Netflix and Amazon did as well, “I took the movie out of Disney and then I started knocking doors with Netflix, Amazon, and other studios. And they all rejected it. Some of them didn’t even answer my phone calls. I said, “I have a very important project. This is for you. We want the whole world to see it and you have the platform. You have the right platform for this movement, please help us. It’s not about the movie anymore. It’s not about me. It’s about the children.'”

He continued, “We sent hundreds of hundreds of messages from different people. Nothing. So you have two options. Either you give up, call your investors, ‘I did what I could. Let’s put this movie on YouTube for free.’ But then I thought they may cancel it. So should I put it on my Facebook? They may cancel it too. So I was really frustrated.”

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

“I was praying to God, ‘Please send some angels to rescue this film. I’m not giving up because this movie is about saving lives.’ But it’s been eight years now since we started this project, that’s a long time. And then Angel Studios show up. I didn’t know who they were. I mean I knew that they did The Chosen, but I was hoping for a studio that understands global releases, big infrastructure for a movie like this because I wanted to be involved in a movement. In order to do a movement you need a lot muscle, right.”

“And then, where are these guys? They are in Provo, Utah. What is Provo? Well, you have to go there. So next thing you know I’m in this town in the middle of nowhere talking to Neal and the Harmon brothers, Jeffrey and Jordan. And you know what convinced me? When I saw their passion and the faith that they had for this movie,” he explained.

“And I needed a partner, another crazy guy like me. These guys are crazy. We’re crazy. Two crazy people doing crazy things. I love that. Disruptive outsiders outside of the system and we signed a deal in five days, five days,” Verástegui detailed.

Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

RELATED: The Walt Disney Company Reportedly Shelved Anti-Child Trafficking Film ‘Sound Of Freedom’ After Obtaining Rights In Merger With Fox

Verástegui comments come in the wake of Angel Studios President Jordan Harmon recounting how The Walt Disney Company shelved the film after it acquired in the purchase of Fox before the film hit theaters.

In a video promoting the film, Harmon said, “This film has been through the ringer. It was originally done by — Fox was going to be the distributor back in the day.”

After briefly pitching viewers to invest in the P&A for the film, Harmon returned to the story about how the film was shelved by The Walt Disney Company, “Going back to that story, Fox was originally going to distribute it. Then Disney buys Fox and for whatever reason Disney shelves it.”

“And it took you, and your team, and Eduardo [Verástegui] a year to basically get the rights back,” he explained.

Harmon would later clarify his comments in an email communication with Bounding Into Comics saying, “To clarify my earlier comment, Disney didn’t distribute Sound of Freedom for reasons unknown to us. We are grateful to be the distributor for this important film.”

Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard and Bill Camp as Vampiro in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

RELATED: Jim Caviezel Responds To Critics Attempting To Lampoon ‘Sound Of Freedom’: “They’re Scared”

Ironically, The Walt Disney Company passing on the film might have been a massive financial error. Sound of Freedom has currently grossed $100.9 million at the domestic box office and even bested The Walt Disney Company’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny from the top spot at the box office when it premiered on July 4th.

In fact, there’s likely a very valid argument that moviegoers are choosing to go to Sound of Freedom over Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The latest Indiana Jones film has only grossed $150.9 million domestically and saw its box office revenues significantly decline in its first three weekends. It originally grossed $60.3 million. It declined 55% in its second weekend to $27.4 million and then declined another 55% in its third weekend to $12.2 million.

Meanwhile, Sound of Freedom saw its second weekend box office revenues increase from its first weekend. The film grossed $27.2 million in its second weekend an increase of 39% from its first weekend gross of $19.6 million.

Javier Godino as Jorge in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

What do you make of Verástegui’s explanation of how the film eventually came to theaters and that The Walt Disney Company held the film up in negotiations for a year?

NEXT: ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Blasts Past $100 Million At The Box Office, Declared “The People’s Movie” As Early Estimates Show It Besting ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’

  • About The Author

    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.