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Published On: Fri, Apr 18th, 2014

Sony Exec: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ is ‘for everyone,’ talks about role of faith in Hollywood

Sony Pictures had dropped their latest installment in the faith-based film genre with “Heaven Is For Real,” an adaptation of the popular Todd Burpo book. Sony Exec DeVon Franklin spoke about bringing the film to the screen and who is the target audience.

Greg Kinnear stars as Todd Burpo in "Heaven Is For Real" photo/Sony

Greg Kinnear stars as Todd Burpo in “Heaven Is For Real” photo/Sony

“The goal with any piece of material, and this is no exception, is to design it in such a way that there are universal themes and experiences at play. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief or gender, the whole goal, especially in the films that I try to put together and push through the system, are films that can tackle that universal experience of life and at the same time find an element that can be inspirational,” Franklin tell THR about the ‘target audience.’

“So with “Heaven is for Real,” we approached it from [the perspective of] making a movie for everybody. Because if you went into it with a very myopic point of view, you potentially limit the impact on the audience.”

The film is an expansion of the story recounted in the book by Burpo, chronicling the account from his son after a near-death experience. Franklin appears to agree with a recent poll which found believers want films to adhere to scripture and involve people of faith.

“It’s important, when you’re making any movie that has a core demographic, to understand their needs and sensitivities, whether it be making African-American films, faith-based films, horror. When you make a superhero movie, it’s very important to know what people who went out and bought the comic are responding to. What in the story is the audience responding to, and how can we organically and authentically portray that? If there isn’t that understanding, you can end up making a film that doesn’t resonate with the mainstream or the core audience because those involved didn’t take enough time to really say, ‘OK, what is it about this particular story?'”

Franklin is asked about being a Christian in Hollywood, if it’s hard being black in Hollywood and how his ministry started, so check out the full interview at THR.

Greg Kinnear stars as Burpo with Connor Corum as the four-year-old boy.

Kelly Reilly (“Flight”) and Margo Martindale (“The Americans,” “The Millers”) co-star with Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways”) as Todd’s closest friend.

Check out the full review of “Heaven Is For Real” HERE

 

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- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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  3. 'Heaven Is For Real': The Reviews Are In – MTV.com | dailynewscafe.net says:

    […] on a young boy (Connor Corum) who …Movie review: 'Heaven Is for Real'NewsOK.comSony Exec: 'Heaven Is For Real' is 'for everyone,' talks about role of faith in …The Global DispatchReview: 'Heaven is for Real'Tulsa WorldKMBZ -The Oshkosh […]

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  5. 'Heaven Is For Real': The Reviews Are In! – MTV.com says:

    […] Is for Real’NewsOK.comDoes It Matter If ‘Heaven Is For Real’?The AtlanticSony Exec: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ is ‘for everyone,’ talks about role of faith…The Global DispatchWLTX.com -Tulsa World -KMBZall 404 news […]

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