The movie also sparked an interest in the Camino. In 2011, the year the film was released in the U.S., American Pilgrims on the Camino issued 1,858 credentials — a kind of “pilgrim’s passport,” Religion News Service reported. In 2012 that number went up to 3,570, and in 2013 it was 5,128. It continued to climb — reaching more than 7,000 credentials — until the pandemic hit in 2020.
But despite striking a chord with many viewers, the movie grossed a disappointing $4.4 million in U.S. theaters and $7.5 million internationally, and ended up bankrupt, Metro Philadelphia reported. Not long after, it landed in a motion-to-abandon-rights court in Delaware.
Then a couple of years ago a friend helped Estevez retrieve the rights, and it was repackaged and made ready for reboot through Fathom Events — for one night only — on Tuesday, May 16.
“I had such high hopes, and then the movie kind of disappeared, and I was very disappointed,” Estevez said in the interview with Arroyo. “You put all that effort into something, but then here we are.”
“And again, it’s about the journey,” he said. “It’s not necessarily always about the destination. I know that sounds cliché, but I think this is one instance where it is living proof.”
The rerelease featured an interview at the end of the movie between Estevez, Sheen (a Catholic), and travel guru Rick Steves (a Christian), where they discussed the Camino, religion, travel, and the pandemic.
Regarding Estevez’s faith, Arroyo recalled that when the original movie came out Estevez, who has called himself an agnostic, said he was “a work in progress.” “Are you still?” Arroyo asked.
“I think we’re all a work in progress, aren’t we?” Estevez responded. “That sort of in the center of that piece of marble. We all reside and we sort of, you know, life sort of chips away and finds the authentic self.”
Arroyo said he found a quote from Estevez where he said “film is an illusion, fame is ephemeral, faith and family are what will endure.”
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“How did you come to that formula?” Arroyo asked.
“Well, growing up in a show business household where my father stressed that family was important,” Estevez responded. “The work, yes, is important, but at the end of the day, you are left with the people that you love and the people who love you.”
“They’re not gonna bury you with all of your movies. They’re not gonna bury you with your work,” he continued. “So for me it was the family connection and staying close to not only my parents, but my siblings and now my children, and now my granddaughter.”
“The Way” doesn’t feel like a “wandering film,” Arroyo told Estevez, but more like a particular destination. “Do you have a particular destination?” Arroyo asked.
“I feel like I’m on this extraordinary road, this extraordinary journey where there’s so many discoveries being made every day in my life,” Estevez responded. “There are wonderful joys and wonderful disappointments. I embrace the disappointments as well, because sometimes the lessons that you learn the most from are not necessarily the triumphs of your life.”
“You have to look at every situation as a watershed for learning, for getting to whatever that next level is,” he continued. “And that, I think, has allowed me to re-embrace this rerelease of the movie.”