Faith-based films such as 90 Minutes in Heaven and War Room earned millions at the box office in 2015, with their book tie-ins also bringing in impressive sales. In 2016, Hollywood is once again teaming up with religion publishers on several book adaptations. Here are some of the notable religion book-to-film adaptations slated for this year.
The Masked Saint (January 8)
Adapted from Chris Whaley’s 2009 book of the same name, The Masked Saint is inspired by true events. The story follows Chris, a professional wrestler who answers a divine calling to become a pastor. However, he finds an even greater fight in risking his identity and taking on injustice in his community as a masked vigilante.
Miracles From Heaven (March 18)
Christy Beam’s 2014 novel from Hachette tells the true story of her 10-year-old daughter’s debilitating illness and a near-death experience that changed everyone around her. The film adaptation of Miracles from Heaven stars Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.
God’s Not Dead 2 (April 1)
God's Not Dead 2 is being adapted from Rice Broock’s Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History’s Greatest Question coming from Thomas Nelson on March 1. In it, Broock examines evidence of Jesus’s life, making a case against skeptics who say that Jesus was a contrived figure of ancient mythology. The book is a follow-up to Broock’s God’s Not Dead (Thomas Nelson, 2012), which was also adapted to film.
Same Kind of Different As Me (April 29)
Also from Thomas Nelson, 2006’s Same Kind of Different As Me, co-written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent, follows the unlikely friendship between the authors—Moore, just out of jail and homeless, and Hall, an international art dealer. The film stars Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight, and Greg Kinnear.
Shusaku Endo’s novel, first published in 1966 by Taplinger Publishing Company, depicts the persecution of Christians in Japan during the 17th century. The film adaptation, directed by Martin Scorsese, is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, starring Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, and Andrew Garfield. Book lovers can also read Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering (Intervarsity Press) by artist Makoto Fujimura, a literary study of Endo’s novel to be released in conjunction with the film’s premiere.
Ben-Hur (August 12)
Tyndale is releasing Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the modernization of Lew Wallace's 1880 classic, written by his great-great granddaughter, Carol Wallace. The book will be published around the same time as the premiere of Ben-Hur, which stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston.