Hoping to capitalize on the recent success of faith-based films, Hollywood has plans for the best-selling novel The Shack to hit the big screen.
Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker will direct The Shack adaptation, and it will reportedly star Oprah Winfrey and British actor Idris Elba. Whitaker may also play a supporting role in the film.
The 2007 novel, written by William P. Young, remained on the New York Times best-seller list for more than three years. Summit Entertainment gained the rights to produce a film adaptation last year and plans to begin shooting this summer in Vancouver or Atlanta.
The novel details the tragedy the main character Mackenzie (Mack) Philips goes through when his youngest daughter is abducted and murdered. Elba—known for portraying Russell “Stringer” Bell in HBO’s The Wire—will play Mack, who journeys to a mysterious shack in the Pacific Northwest after suffering from severe depression.
Though it’s not known who Winfrey will play, Mack encounters three versions of God while in the shack—one of them Papa, an African-American woman.
The other two manifestations of God Mack meets are Jesus, a Jewish carpenter, and Sarayu, an Asian woman he later realizes is the Holy Spirit.
The Shack sold more than 18 million copies, but not every Christian was pleased with its message.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. has called the book “deeply subversive,” “scripturally incorrect” and “downright dangerous.”
Mars Hill Church Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll also had harsh words for the novel, saying, “It misrepresents God.”