Production has begun in Canada for the movie adaptation of Todd Burpo's runaway best-selling book, Heaven Is for Real (Thomas Nelson), UPI reports. The film is scheduled for theatrical release around Easter 2014.
Filming started last week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on the family feature—starring Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a small-town pastor in Nebraska, TriStar Pictures says.
Published in November 2010, Burpo's account of his young son Colton's near-death experience of heaven has sold more than 8 million copies in the past two years. Translated into more than 30 languages, Heaven Is for Real has spent more than two years on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, including 17 consecutive weeks at No. 1.
Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) is portraying Burpo's wife, Sonja, and first-time actor Connor Corum plays Colton, while Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) has the role of family friend Jay Olson. Kinnear's acting credits include The Last Song and As Good as It Gets, which garnered him an Oscar nomination for his supporting role.
Randall Wallace—who wrote the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart and directed Secretariat—is directing Heaven Is for Real, which will be produced by Joe Roth (Oz the Great and Powerful and Alice in Wonderland) and T.D. Jakes, pastor at the Potter's House in Dallas, best-selling author and co-producer of the movie Jumping the Broom. Wallace also wrote The Touch, a novel from Tyndale House Publishers.
Heaven Is for Real's "true story and message of hope through the eyes of a child has already brought comfort and inspiration to millions," says Matt Baugher, senior vice president and publisher of Thomas Nelson's recently resurrected imprint W Publishing Group. "The film will do the same."
Heaven Is for Real is being overseen at Sony Pictures' TriStar division, led by DeVon Franklin, author of Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self (Howard Books).