Randall Wallace (Secretariat) is in talks to develop the book Heaven Is for Real as a directing vehicle. The novel is co-written by Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, and tells of how his four-year-old son had slipped into unconsciousness during emergency surgery, and when he awoke, he said he had “met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each.” He also described “the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how ‘reaaally big’ God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit ‘shoots down power’ from heaven to help us.” Personally, I don’t see how this could possibly be a complete fabrication designed to exploit a four-year-old’s near-death experience to push a Christian agenda.
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While Secretariat is a family film, Wallace’s screenwriting credits make Heaven a bit of a departure. He previously penned the screenplays for Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, and he’s also working on Mel Gibson‘s Viking movie, Berserker. While he’ll likely oversee the screenplay for Heaven Is for Real, the screenwriting has been tasked to Battle of the Year scribe Christopher Parker. According to Variety, DeVon Franklin, an ordained preacher and Sony executive, will oversee the project for the studio, and gear the film towards the faith-based market.
Here’s the official synopsis for Heaven Is for Real:
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle. [Amazon]
I hope it’s a dance battle, and that’s why they hired Parker to write the script.