Well, this is a bit unexpected. Randall Wallace, the writer behind such manly fare as “Braveheart,” “Pearl Harbor,” and “We Were Soldiers” (which he also directed), seems to be showing a softer side of late. A couple of years ago, he delivered the wholesome Disney horseracing movie “Secretariat,” and now he’s lined up a movie about a little kid who goes to heaven. We’re not fucking kidding.
Variety reports that Wallace has signed up to develop an adaptation of Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent‘s best-selling book “Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.” The apparently based-on-a-true-story tale follows a little kid who has a near-death experience, and claims to have visited heaven. Naturally, no one believes him in the small town where he lives, but he soon starts mentioning details about the various folks who have passed away. Get out the hankies.
Yep, it’s a big play toward the faith-based audience set who can turn stuff targeted their way into box office gold. And if the spend is low and the rewards high, we reckon it’s a good investment for Sony. But as a movie it sounds pretty manipulative and terrible, but then again, we’re not the target for this kind of stuff. Christopher Parker (“Mulan 2,” “Vampire In Brooklyn“) is writing the script, which Wallace will make sure is godly enough or whatever. But until that happens, Wallace has a couple of other projects percolating, including “The Conscientious Objector,” which he’s aiming to direct, and “Gunslingers,” which he penned and which has Vince Vaughn attached to star. Not to mention the Viking movie he’s doing with Mel Gibson. So yeah, we’re still baffled by “Heaven Is For Real” in the scheme of all this, but maybe Wallace sees something in it that we don’t.