Forest Whitaker in talks to direct, star in The Shack

Yesterday brought us the first clip from the Left Behind reboot and the news that the Academy had rescinded the Oscar nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone. Today brings news of a not-so-conservative Christian-themed movie.

Deadline reports that Forest Whitaker, most recently seen in Black Nativity, is in talks to direct and star in a film adaptation of The Shack, the William P. Young book about a man who loses his daughter to a serial killer and then spends a weekend discussing the problem of evil with God himself (or rather, perhaps, with God themselves, since God appears as a man and two women).

The film is being produced by Gil Netter, whose credits include Flicka (2006), The Blind Side (2009) and Life of Pi (2012); and it is written by John Fusco, whose credits include Youngs Guns (1988-1990), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Hidalgo (2004). (So… will there be horses in this movie?)

Also, unlike the two Christian films that were in the news yesterday, The Shack has a fairly significant, if not quite major, studio behind it: Summit Entertainment, the outfit behind the Twilight saga (2008-2012) and other hit films.

The Shack has sold over 10 million copies since it was first self-published in 2007, and it has been criticized by various Christians who took issue with the book’s theology. I wish I could say more about that myself, but I’ve never read the book and the arguments I heard took place so long ago they’ve faded from memory.

Perhaps the film will revive them, though!

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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