Faith-based films can be high-performers at the box office—among them War Room, a Christianity-driven drama which grossed over $67 million in 2015—and so it comes as no surprise that Hollywood studios are once again partnering with religion publishers this year. Find out more about book-to-film adaptations such as The Good Shepherd, I Still Believe, and others below.
Burden (Feb. 28)
Adapted from Courtney Hargrave’s historical narrative Burden: A Preacher, a Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South (Convergent, 2017), this film stars Forest Whitaker, Garrett Hedlund, and singer Usher. It follows the story of an African American reverend who befriended a former KKK grand wizard. The publisher is releasing a movie tie-in edition of the book featuring a foreword by the film’s writer and director Andrew Heckler on February 4.
I Still Believe (Mar. 13)
From the creators of October Baby Jon and Andrew Erwin, I Still Believe is based on a 2013 memoir by Christian singer Jeremy Camp, written with David Thomas. The film, which will star Gary Sinise and Shania Twain, explores the story behind Camp's music, including his experiences with poverty and the loss of his first wife to cancer. Thomas Nelson is publishing a revised movie tie-in edition of the book with a new cover on Feb. 18.
Starring Mena Suvari, Stuart Townsend, and Frances Fisher, Grace and Grit is an adaptation of Ken Wilber’s biography of the same title, first published by Shambhala in 1991. It tells the story of Wilber’s wife Treya’s cancer diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately her death, as well as the couple’s spiritual journey through the crisis. Shambhala is republishing the book with a new preface from the author on Jan. 21.
Greyhound (May 8)
Scripted by and starring Tom Hanks and directed by Aaron Schneider, Greyhound is based on The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester. In it, Commander George Krause of the U.S. Navy must make difficult decisions to protect merchant ships from German submarines during World War II. The thriller, which was first published in the U. K. in 1955, is published in the U.S. by Penguin.
My Name Is Tani (TBD)
Threatened by the Boko Haram insurgency, Tani Adewumi escaped Nigeria with his family and began living as a refugee in New York City in 2017. He went on to win the 2019 New York State chess championship at eight years old—just one year after learning to play the game. His story will be told in My Name Is Tani… and I Believe in Miracles, which is being published by W on April 14. The book will also be available in audio, e-book, and as a young reader’s edition. Trevor Noah is producing the yet-to-be-titled film adaptation.
As a bonus, the following books are getting small screen adaptations. Ethan Hawke is producing and starring in a series for Showtime entitled The Good Lord Bird, which centers on the abolitionist John Brown. The series is based on a National Book Award-winning novel of the same title by James McBride, published by Riverhead in 2013.
Additionally, an adaptation of Walking with the Bible author Bruce Feiler'sThe Council of Dads is coming to NBC in March. The TV series depicts Feiler’s cancer diagnosis and his plan to have other men in his life act as stand-in fathers to his twin daughters in the event of his death.