When the movie Letters to God opens Friday, the Post Office better be ready. Director David Nixon laughed when I interviewed him for this review for Catholic Exchange and added, “Yeah there could be millions of Letters to God heading to the post office after people see this movie.”
The movie opens Friday and will have the largest distribution for a Christian-based movie since the Passion of the Christ. Nixon, who makes his debut as Director for the film, was the producer for the movies Fireproof and Facing the Giants. Letters to God is inspired by a true story of an amazing eight-year-old boy that is dying from cancer and writes letters to God. These letters end up with a mailman who thinks Christianity is a crutch for people.
Nixon told Catholic Exchange that he hopes that the movie strikes a chord around the world. “God has put into our hands a story of courage and we hope it has the same impact that the movie Fireproof and Facing the Giants has had. We know that the success of these movies at the box-office has opened Hollywood’s eyes to realize there is a market for God-films.”
Nixon has worked hard to reach an audience he says might not enter a church but, “…maybe we can first reach their hearts and minds inside a theater and realize that God is real.”
While making the movie, Nixon said the cast and crew experienced many coincidences, “I call them ‘Divine Appointments.’ Each day we started with 10 minutes of prayer and had special prayer warriors on the set. We were bathed in prayer during the making of this movie.”
For some, like Jeffrey S.S. Johnson who plays Brady McDaniels, the conflicted mailman, Nixon says this seemed very odd and out of place. “But gradually after the second week Jeffrey felt tremendously changed spiritually. He will tell you he never, ever experienced that before while making a movie.”
By the ending of the filming Nixon says the entire cast and crew were asking the prayer warriors for specific requests and everyone was onboard with the “Christian” part of their work environment. “That was a miracle in and of itself,” added Nixon.
Out of the Mouths of Children
The movie is a story of hope and prayer through the eyes of eight-year old Tyler Doherty, played by Tanner Maguire. Even when the adults around him seem to lose their faith, or not practice it, their rock of faith is Tyler. In spite of the fact that Tyler is slowing dying from a rare brain cancer; his death eventually lifts their spirits and brings them closer to God.
Nixon hopes the movie will serve as a catalyst for families with young children especially going through the agony of cancer. “We’ve got the American Cancer Society on board and we will have resources both medically and spiritually that we will be able to share through the movie website” (www.LetterstoGodtheMovie.com).
Letters to God is a sad but wonderful story of faith and hope. It is by the public support of movies like this that the message seems to be getting through to Hollywood that these kinds of movies have a strong and growing audience worth paying attention to.
[Letters to God opens Friday. This film is rated PG for Thematic Material Run Time: 113:30]