The Trailer for ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Will Make Your Eyes Roll

It’s the Christian movie trailer based off the book that was inspired by one child’s overactive imagination and spread by millions of gullible adults.

I present to you, Heaven is for Real:

Citation needed…

For some reason, the trailer left out the portion of the book where little Colton talks about meeting Jesus, as the Son of God rode in on a rainbow-colored horse.

I can’t imagine why that part remained on the cutting room floor.

The movie comes out this Easter. (Of course.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • quasibaka

    Did the horse have wings ? Did it fly to the moon as well ???

  • compl3x

    Rainbow horse? Sounds kinda gay.

    • Randy Meyer

      And there is probably why it got left out!!

    • Tobias 27772

      Gay Beastiality

    • MARTinNJ

      Sounds Major Gay!

  • Mike Hitchcock

    “I see it – so I believe it”

    Umm…other way around I think.

  • Catherine Cocco

    So sappy! Reminds me of E.T. And if it could just be presented as an impossible, magic little story, kids might enjoy it. But the shit about trying to prove a Xtian god is just so pathetic. Isn’t it in the Bible (I’m paraphrasing) that God is nothing without faith? Thus, the reason folks aren’t given front row seats to actual miracles.
    That awful, sick little family is perpetuating a hoax, and the child is the one who will suffer psychologically from it.

    • Randy Meyer

      Just curious about something… Why do so many people spell Christian as Xtian in the comments here? Is it like r for ‘are’ or u for ‘you?’ Or is it left over from the years of religious school upbringings? Not trying to criticize, just really wondering.

      • Glasofruix

        The same reason some people spell xmas instead of christmas i would guess.

        • Phil,Rustage

          The “X” symbol was used to represent “christ” in early Christian art. Since then it has been used as a shortened way of representing “christ” in spellings since the C16th. The term Xmas has been used since at least the C18th and in modified forms before that. The OED cites usage of “Xtianity” for “Christianity” from 1634.

          It does not necessarily imply disbelief since many Christian texts use the term. It is however disliked by some present day Christians who don’t know their own history

          • MARTinNJ

            Christians not knowing their own (or anyone else’s for that matter) history? Who would have thunk it?

      • Greg G.

        One letter is easier than six letters. It’s not really the 24th letter of the alphabet but the Greek letter “chi” which looks like an X. Chi is the first letter in “Christ” in Greek, which is the first language the word was ever written in. Xtian writers have used the X for “Christ” for at least a thousand years. It symbolically represents the cross.

        If Xtians complain that Xmas takes the Christ out of Christmas, they should be more offended by spelling “Christ” with a “Ch”.

        • Jodi Mai

          True, but it’s amusing to watch them get all riled up, only to back peddle furiously when you break out the historic citations

      • Fargofan

        Also, why Xtian instead of Xian? I think X stands for Christ which makes it Christ-tian, not Christian.

        • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

          Probably to avoid confusion with Chinese names/words. Xi’an is the capitol of Shannxi province.

      • baal

        I do it since it annoys xtians and is easier to type. I also intentionally and ungrammatically drop caps as well most of the time. I blame the trolls here for burning out my good will to make the effort to accord them the respect of a proper naming.

  • Reace Niles

    Is Michael J. Fox playing the dad or am I just hallucinating? Please tell me it’s the latter.

    • Jett Perrobone

      If it’s the former, I’ll bet the plot revolves around getting to heaven by reaching 88 miles per hour in a retrofitted DeLorean. Which might actually be more entertaining.

    • Ryan L
  • Rain

    Yeah we all know what “based on a true story” means.

    • allein

      Yeah, it’s true that they said this happened.

  • Andrew B.

    Oh, Greg Kinnear. What happened?

    • Brian K

      Even if he believes the story, he has to know a Christian financed film version will be godawful.

      • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

        Maybe he assumes no one will see it.

        • baal

          Even ex-hosts of the daily show may turn out to need money more than dignity.

    • Vertigayle

      I am so with you, there! I used to think Kinnear was really riding a rocket to the top. I thought he had some real talent. This is just sad.

    • MARTinNJ

      Was Mel Gibson busy? or just two damaged or two old?

    • LesterBallard

      Is he a Christian now himself? I can’t find anything that says he converted. And it’s a bit surprising he was hired; after all, Kinnear played a gay character in As Good As It Gets.

  • Better Off Damned

    If heaven is so real then why is the prospect of someone having seen it such a shocking event to believers? …Because they don’t really believe it either.

    • Octoberfurst

      Good point!

      • MARTinNJ

        Great idea, houses of worship should start selling lottery tickets with the advertising slogan: ‘And now TWO chances to win.’..

    • viaten

      It’s like a lottery ticket. Wouldn’t it be something if you won. Wouldn’t it be something if it were true.

  • Mick

    When that kid gets older I wonder if he will cringe with embarrassment at the way his father cashed-in on his story, or will he use his fame to rip off gullible Christians until the day he dies.

    • Matt

      We should ask Kirk Cameron

    • allein

      He’d be about 14 or 15 now; I wonder how he feels about it.
      As an aside, the coauthor of the book is the same woman who coauthored Sarah Palin’s “autobiography.”

      • Emilio

        He appeared on “The 700 Club” and “Fox and Friends” somewhat recently (~1 year), sooooooooooo…..
        I think we can infer how feels. Though I suppose that requires evidence, and I just don’t have the patience for Pat Robertson.

  • lilyannerose

    Easy to figure out how this one happened. My question is how did this kid’s parents reward him when he met their expectations with stories of “heaven?’

    • Ted Nicholson

      A visit with a priest? Here little boy, don’t worry, the church will cover it upl

  • Ted Nicholson

    And now how to do we get gullible christians to give us money? A book? Good idea. A movie? Even better! I wonder what they would have thought if he came back saying he had seen Hades in the underworld. Or perhaps grandpa with a hundred virgins.
    To me it is sick the way that these people are exploiting the imagination of a young child to earn a buck.

  • Scott Vertical

    I like how at the end, there’s a little textual tag about “Group Sales” (Bring the whole church!). I don’t recall seeing that at the end of the trailer for Thor 2. Such an obvious money grab.

    • KittySunshine

      You don’t need to bribe people with discounts to see some *real* gods in action.

      • Alierias

        Oh, when he takes his shirt off — I could lay some hands on THAT god >;D

  • stojadinovicp

    incredible = too extraordinary and improbable to be believed

  • Dirk

    Needs some Agent Scully, or at least those two nerds from “Insidious.”
    Otherwise, I can’t handle Thomas Hayden Church going from cowboy badass in “Broken Trail” to school superintendent or whatever in this crap.

  • Francisco J. Moreno

    My horse is amazing!

    • m6wg4bxw

      It tastes just like raisins.

      • Derrik Pates

        Shut up woman, get on my horse.

        • m6wg4bxw

          Zoinks! Misogyny!

  • Travis Myers

    This is like the Christian version of The Sixth Sense (“I saw dead people”). Maybe this time the twist will be that it turns out the kid was making it up the whole time.

  • A3Kr0n

    A whole movie based on a single testimony from a young boy in extreme physical and emotional distress to prove the claim that Heaven does exist.
    That makes sense!

    • Fargofan

      Whose dad is a pastor, by the way. Nope, nothing fishy about it.

      • allein

        Yeah, that’s one thing that kept me rolling my eyes when I read the book. They go on about how they didn’t teach him any of this stuff and it must be real because how else could he know these things? His dad’s a pastor, he’s surrounded by religious people who believe the same things. Kids pick up things even when you think they’re not paying attention. It’s not surprising that’s he’s heard these things even if they didn’t explicitly tell him the stories (though I find hard to believe they didn’t do that at all, but that’s beside the point).

        • Rich Wilson

          You read the book? Are you o.k.?

          • allein

            lol…yeah, my mom asked me to pick it up for her and since I wasn’t going to see her for a few days I read it. There was much snarking over lunch for a couple days. It’s an easy read, I’ll give it that. I’m actually staying at my parents house for a bit right now (as I have no shower or sink in my bathroom at the moment) and the book is on my bedside table in the guest room. I’ve been keeping what I’m reading (currently Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes) on top of it.

  • guest

    Rainbow horse? Wrong! He has a rainbow *unicorn*.

  • Octoberfurst

    Ugh! Another sappy Christian movie! (What, no Stephen Baldwin? Obviously an oversight.)
    I read parts of that pathetic book at a Barnes & Noble bookstore just to see what all the fuss was about. It’s total eye-rolling bullshit. The kid’s description of heaven is just what you would expect. Everyone wears white robes–and carries swords to fight off demons, it’s a beautiful garden, there are always rainbows in the sky, etc.

    The odd part is that the kid didn’t die on the operating table. He came close but didn’t expire. So logically how did he see “heaven” if he didn’t die? Well the kid addresses that in the book. The father asks him that very question and his response? “Well dad, I guess I DID die.” Seriously. And daddy accepts that answer. “Oh ok son. You did die.” Yep the surgeon was wrong.

    I find it depressing that the book was a best-seller. Over half a million copies were sold and many people gave it rave reviews on We truly live in an idiot nation.

  • Georgina

    Some serious studies have been made of flatliners, their experience and the discrepancies between what they ‘saw’ while OOB and what watchers in the same room saw.
    As yet there is no compelling evidence for a heaven or any sort of afterlife.
    There is evidence for dreaming.

  • Maggie Winnike

    I can’t be the only one that thought it sounded like a little like a horror movie.

  • Liz Heywood

    He sees dead people.

  • Ryan L

    Probably my favorite thing found when I first learned about this book

  • amytrottier

    If Jesus is a rainbow horse, does
    that mean he supports equality?

  • SeekerLancer

    When I was around that kid’s age I believed there were ghosts and that I could sense and communicate with them. I had totally deluded myself that this was the truth. Therefore ghosts are real… I guess.

  • advancedatheist

    I thought unbaptized dead babies went to limbo instead of heaven.

    • allein

      What I want to know is how a fetus miscarried at 2 months is like 5 years old in heaven.

  • Timmah


    * lol no, not really. just shut up and give us your money.

  • advancedatheist

    So does this kid play with a Hellraiser cube in the attic or something? “What does ‘unbind’ mean, mommy?” “It means to let something loose. Why do you ask, son?” “I saw the nice Mr. Pinhead when I was in heaven, and he asked me when I came back to earth to solve a puzzle I found in the attic and ‘unbind’ him.”

  • Brodestar

    This is a cute story and im sure it will draw some tears but it is clearly the overactive imagination of an indoctrinated child who can barely comprehend the magnitude of what he is saying. It even goes against what biblical historians have said that nobody is in heaven and wouldn’t be until the rapture and judgement. This is clearly laid out in the christians book that most christians dont even bother to read. Also almost all nde experiencers say that what they experience is nowhere near what they had been lead to believe is what “heaven” is supposed to be like. It’s a cute story but most rational free thinking humans won’t buy it.

  • Rusty Spell

    My article about the book, for those interested.

    • Mario Strada

      Excellent piece.

      • Rusty Spell

        Thank you.

    • KMR

      I second Mario’s review :)

      • Rusty Spell

        I say “Thank you” a second time :)

  • Rusty Spell

    “Incredible” is a good word to describe this “true story.”

  • CanadianNihilist

    Obviously It was Odin riding Sleipnir. The rainbow effect was just the Bifröst Bridge reflecting onto Sleipnirs pale grey colour.
    Thus Asgard is real. Quick, someone get me a book deal on explaing how this child really went to Valhalla and was mistaken.

    • Astreja

      (Springy G pulls out Her Old Norse-English dictionary) Give Me a few minutes. How’s about we swap Jesus for Baldur, the angels for Valkyries, and tell the Einherjar to cool it with the dancing girls till the kid’s gone back to Midgard?

  • allein

    Ugh…I rolled my eyes enough while reading the book; why would I want to watch this?

  • KMR

    I read this while I was still a theist and even then I found it suspect. It wasn’t so much the claims of the author for a lot of people make spectacular claims. It was the scriptural justification he used to try and explain the experience. It was bullshit. Their theology doesn’t allow for such claims especially not the kind of claims that little boy made (or his father’s interpretation of said claims). He would have done better to just have said this is what my son said happened to him, I have no idea why it happened or what it means but our lives are changed because of it. But instead he tried to use it to evangelize. It really cheapened an interesting story.

    I like Greg Kinnear. But if they advertise the movie as being based off of a true story instead of a story that the author claims to be true then I can’t see it whether it gets good reviews or not. I can’t imagine it getting good reviews though if it’s done by evangelicals. Every artistic endeavor they attempt seems to suck.

  • m6wg4bxw

    I read an interesting Christian response to the story of this boy’s experience at The Berean Call. Throughout the article are flickers of what appear to be skepticism. They don’t burn long because, unfortunately, the measuring stick for truth is scriptural compatibility.

    The most interesting part, to me, came at the end, which I will quote so that others may be similarly enlightened. From the article, “Is ‘Heaven Is for Real’ for Real?: An Exercise In Discernment

    What we do know about that and other types of drug-induced conditions of mind (even dream states, meditation, and an overworked imagination) is that multitudes of people have reported experiences that seem to validate everything from clinical or near-death events to past-lives journeys to abductions on UFOs. They also reveal information for which they had no basis of knowledge prior to their experiences. It may be that an altered state of consciousness creates a condition in which the mind is like a blank screen, open to outside input. Spirit entities, whose goal it is to undermine the Word of God and deceive the world, might have that ability to program the blank screen and could therefore take advantage of anyone in such a highly susceptible condition.

  • Brian

    It looks like pay it forward meets Six Sense to me… So now comes the part that I have funny feeling about, and that is the movie industry. I am so tired of people going to watch a movie Just because it is base on a true story… I feel there are four types of movies out there, The Pop corn movies, that are movies to be entertain by and sometimes convey meaning from the story and characters. The Art house film that is less about being entertain and more on being art and the human condition. The Documentaries that are on real life world events, that tends to be more information driven then drama driven.. and the movie that can be everything all three types of movies The Pop Corn movie, the Art House movie, The Documentary.. I am extremely tired of people saying I don’t want to see this because it’s not base on a true story, and I’m like that is complete Bull Shit, why because if a movie is base on a true story, the film maker or script writer will change it to death to the point were its nothing like the true story. that go’s the say for any audience being a film snob against any type of movie.. I tend not to like a lot of comedies but I believe people have the right to watch any kind of entertainment no matter how much I dislike there entertainment, that movie that person likes was never made for me.. this movie looks like it is made for Christians. Not Atheist, Not Agnostics, Not Freethinkers, Not humanist. but true believers.. I don’t want to see this movie at all. but that movie is for somebody then me…

  • Nicholas Joseph

    The way that was done…looks like a horror flick.

  • David Wilkinson

    Still a distant second to “God’s not dead” trailer.

  • Flatline

    The only rainbow colored horse I can think of is…
    “Hey Dad. Did you know Jesus is a Brony?”

  • Kip Roof

    Interesting that the music they chose for the second half of the trailer is ‘fill my heart’ by “Two Steps From Hell”