THIS STORY NEEDS A MOVIE: Saint Patrick

This segment of my blog is dedicated to stories that I have heard or read, true or fiction, that I feel would make a great movie with Christian themes.  Since Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us I figured this would be a good time to highlight one of my favorite stories that I feel is long over due for a movie.

THE PITCH

A family near the British cost finds themselves in the middle of an attack from foreign pirates.  Sixteen year old Patrick finds himself taken captive and taken to the pagan land of Ireland. Though his family was Christian, the young Patrick had not settled on a religious belief. He would later talk about the fact that captivity was the most important part of his spiritual walk.  While in captivity Patrick found comfort in prayer leading him to a Christian belief.  After six years in slavery to the pagans in Ireland he escaped.

In his escape he found a captain of a ship that was willing to let him on board so he could find his way back to Britain.  It is said that in the three days on board the ship Patrick had lead the entire crew to Christianity.  They landed in Britain and all of them left the ship.  They spent 28 days in the wilderness making there way to Patrick’s home. During those 28 days the crew began to become very hungry to the point of fainting. Patrick felt the extreme pressure to provide for these new converts so that they would not blame there new faith.  They eventually stumbled upon a herd of wild boar causing Patrick’s faith to be elevated withing the group.

Upon returning home he continued to study Christianity, the faith he viewed as saving him from physical captivity.  He became a Christian missionary. He felt that it was his calling to return to the land that had held him captive to convert them to Christianity.  His presents changed Ireland completely.  It is even said that he used the three leaf shamrock to explain to the pagans the concept of the trinity.  Patrick’s influence can still be seen today.

A movie based on Saint Patrick’s life could appeal to an Evangelical Christian crowd as well as a Catholic and Irish crowd.  I feel the story is compelling, and entertaining enough that it could even find a mainstream audience much like Braveheart did not just appeal to the Scottish but captured a wide audience.

THE PROPOSAL

I would propose that this film be made for somewhere between 15 to 20 Million, getting the budget as close to 20 million as possible. A frame of reference would be the 2013 Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave which was made with a budget of $20 Million.  I am sure that a Saint Patrick movie could be made slightly cheaper as you would not need to hire such well known talent as Michael Fastbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, or Brad Pitt.  With that said though, hiring that level of talent would elevate the project and most likely make it capable of bringing in more money and more recognition.

I would personally see a proven and talented director take the helm on this.  It would warm my soul to see director Kevin Reynolds take the directors chair on a project like this.  In my opinion he is an underrated director.  His work on The Count of Monte Cristo was fantastic and to bring that sort of scale and beauty with only $35 million tells me that with him in the chair you will get the most quality for your dollar.

Every Saint Patrick’s day I am reminded of his fantastic story.  It always makes me want to watch a good movie based on his life but there are none out there that I know of.  Can you imagine a movie that not only could make money when it first comes out but that you could also see in stores every year in March? Please someone! THIS STORY NEEDS A MOVIE!

THIS STORY NEEDS A MOVIE: The Story of Adam Crooks

Every once in a while I will be posting a piece like this where I discuss a novel, a biography, or a life story that I feel would make a superb faith-based movie.  Usually, I will post it because I feel the story would be a perfect blend of spreading the message of the Gospel while at the same time not preaching.  Keep in mind, I feel people use the term “preachy” too often. For example, if someone has a life changing moment at a Billy Graham crusade and the message that was given was so impactful it changed the trajectory of their life.  To include a portion of this message is not preachy, it is part of the story.

This post won’t deal much with this dilemma though, it does include the life of a preacher.  I was reading a denomination magazine yesterday and stumbled on a brief paragraph that discussed a preacher by the name of Adam Crooks.  Immediately my imagination said “This needs to be a movie!”

ADAM CROOKS

Why do we as Christians spend $16 million dollars on a fictional movie that only appeals to a segment of Christianity that subscribe to a very specific eschatology when we could chose a hero like Adam Crooks who can begin unifying conversations within the church and appealing discussions about our faith outside the church.  It seems a better strategy to me then making a movie on a subject that sparks more than lively debate within the church and focuses on fewer in a society that views the church as a group that thrives on fear mongering.

What would it have been like if instead of $16 Million on left behind, that same money was spent on an Adam Crook movie?  In 1840 a group of Christians in North Carolina requested that the Wesleyan-Methodist Church send a minister to them.  The Wesleyan-Methodist church was one of the first denominations to make it a point of their church to be a church that stood against slavery.  By requesting a minister from this denomination was to ask for an abolitionist minister to enter the south years before our nation’s Civil War.  Church leaders were reluctant to send any of their ministers into, what they rightfully saw as a hostile environment.  Adam Crooks heard of the request and responded to his denomination by saying “Sustained by your prayers, and in the name of my Savior, I will go.”  Adam Crook went and founded Freedom’s Hill, the first Wesleyan-Methodist church in the slaveholding south.  Upon arrival he faced ridicule, persecution, assassination attempts and he was dragged from his pulpit on a Sunday morning and thrown in jail for anti-slavery activism.

Even though this story is about a particular denomination, the messages of freedom and of acting out your faith in the face of adversity are messages that can begin unifying conversations within the church and would celebrate victories that the church has had historically instead of focusing on the times in history where the church was lead astray by various leaders with their own agenda. We hear so much about the churches missteps that many feel that those missteps have outweighed their good but that is simply untrue.  We need to remind the world that the church is and has been a force for tremendous good in this world and is capable of that today!  A movie that takes this strategy can do so much more good for the kingdom then a movie focusing on people who get left behind.