Do you still believe (in life after love)? KJ Apa does — at least his character in the new movie, I Still Believe, does. On Thursday, Aug. 22, the first trailer for the Riverdale star's highly anticipated Christian romantic tragedy was released, showing the actor in his most unexpected and emotional role yet. The KJ Apa's I Still Believe trailer looks like a musical take on The Notebook, and it'll have your eyes watering before you even step into the theater.
In the new film, based on a devastating true story, Apa stars as real-life Christian singer Jeremy Camp. I Still Believe follows his whirlwind relationship with Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, played by Britt Robinson, as she battles ovarian cancer with the singer at her side. As reported by PEOPLE, Camp lost his wife to the disease back in 2001.
The trailer opens with Apa taking the stage at a concert and introducing his fiancée to the audience ("I'm taken, I'm sorry"), before imploring the crowd to pray for her. It opens up from there, showing viewers a montage of their life together, from marrying in a beautiful beach-side ceremony to scary experiences in the hospital. He even has to explain his decision to his parents, played by country goddess Shania Twain and Gary Sinise. "I'm supposed to be with her," he pleaded. "I can't explain it. I just know that."
Apa told PEOPLE that the true love story between Camp and Melissa attracted him to the emotional project. “Their love is seriously put to the test in this movie,” he told PEOPLE in a new interview. “I hope after seeing the love between Jeremy and Melissa the audience can sit there and think, ‘Wow, I hope that I can one day be in love like that.’" He continued, "I mean that’s what I Still Believe is about: it’s about journeying through your biggest fears and disappointments and coming out still believing. I believe that anyone, everyone can relate to this film because it’s a story about love, loss, and hope.”
However, there was one hurdle to the role that Apa had to overcome in order to excel: singing. Yes, the actor does all of his own vocals in the film. And despite coming from a "really musical household" and doing the occasional musical number as Archie on Riverdale (and sounding totally great while doing so), he told PEOPLE that he was still "terrified" about having to sing in the movie.
“I’m super uncomfortable when I sing,” he said. “I went into the studio in Nashville — I did that first before we shot anything — and I think that really gave me perspective on the film. Having that sound and knowing what all that music is going to sound like before you go in is super important." Apa may have had his doubts, but, he said, "Luckily, it couldn’t have gone better. I think people are going to love it.”
If Riverdale fans love his vocals stylings on the show, then viewers are sure to adore seeing Apa play a full-blown musician. I Still Believe will hit theaters on March 20, 2020, and if anything, it'll surely have fans believing in his talent.