Will Idris Elba and Oprah Winfrey co-star in The Shack?

A few months ago it was announced that Forest Whitaker was in talks to direct and star in an adaptation of The Shack, the best-selling book about a man who loses his daughter to a serial killer and then spends a weekend discussing the problem of evil with God.

Now The Tracking Board reports that Idris Elba has been offered a lead role in the film, and that Oprah Winfrey might also be in the mix. Since God appears in the book as an African-American woman, it is not surprising that some people have assumed that Oprah will be playing God.

The bigger question is who Elba will be playing. I have not read The Shack, but friends of mine who have tell me that one of the key themes in the book is how the white male protagonist learns to accept that God can appear to him as something other than a white man like him. That theme could be muted somewhat if the protagonist is a black person just like God.

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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Yesterday brought us the first clip from the Left Behind reboot and the news that the Academy had rescinded the Oscar nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone.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?)

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