Most of my energy over the last few weeks has gone towards writing about various Bible-themed productions — Risen, The Young Messiah, Of Kings and Prophets, Ben-Hur, even the upcoming The Passion Live — but I figured I’d take a moment to say a few words about Miracles from Heaven, which opened on Wednesday.
Here are a few recent bits of casting news with a “faith-based” angle.
1. Sam Worthington has been cast as the lead in The Shack, Stuart Hazeldine’s adaptation of the William P. Young novel. Worthington will play a grieving father who meets God in the shack where the father’s murdered daughter was found. Octavia Spencer is already on board as one of the actors who will play God.
When you think about it, teleportation is a natural subject for the movies. You could even say that filmmakers do it all the time, already: in a typical film, when, say, a character walks out the door, it is often the case that the shot inside the house, of the person walking to his or her exit, was filmed on a soundstage, while the shot outside the house, of that same person stepping onto the sidewalk, might very well have been filmed in another city, or even another country. But these images are generally edited together so seamlessly that you don’t have time to notice.
The special effects in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith are magnificent, even if there are far too many of them and they never provoke quite the same sense of awe that, say, Peter Jackson was able to summon for The Lord of the Rings.
And it is gratifying to see that Ewan McGregor and especially Hayden Christensen, as the Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker respectively, have turned in better, more interesting performances in this film than they did in its predecessors. This is no small point, since it is in this film that Anakin turns against Obi-Wan and becomes the evil Darth Vader.