Film version of Heaven Is For Real shoots in Manitoba
By Aaron Epp | Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Photo by ANGELOUX/Flickr
WINNIPEG, MBThe Hollywood adaptation of a New York Times bestselling Christian book is shooting in Manitoba.
Filming began in late June for Heaven Is For Real, based on the 2010 book of the same name written by Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. The book and film tells the story of Burpo's four-year-old son, Colton, who experienced heaven during emergency surgery.
Randall Wallace, who wrote the films Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, is writing and directing the film. Greg Kinnear, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in the 1997 film As Good As It Gets, will star as Todd Burpo.
Sony Pictures is producing the film, with assistance from Buffalo Gal Pictures, a Winnipeg-based independent film and television production company.
Phyllis Laing, CEO and president of Buffalo Gal Pictures, believes the film comes at an important time.
"Hope is what the film is all about, and I think that's a theme that people really need right now," Laing says. "The material of the book really touched the hearts of many people across the world. … [The film] has the potential to reach a lot of people."
According to the book, while in heaven, Colton met his miscarried sister whom no one had ever told him about, as well as his great-grandfather, who died 30 years before Colton was born. He shared impossible-to-know details about each.
Producers held an open casting call in Winnipeg at the end of April to fill the role of Colton. Ultimately, they chose an actor from Ohio, but Laing says that of the 200 boys who tried out in Winnipeg, two will be chosen as doubles for the Ohio actor.
"I think audiences will be genuinely pleased with the direction the project goes in," Laing says.
Shooting is taking place in Selkirk, Manitoba and wraps up in mid-August. Sony Pictures has scheduled the film for release sometime in 2014.