‘Heaven is for Real’ hitting big screen

Greg Kinnear will start in the upcoming film 'Heaven Is for Real.' (PHOTO: Facebook)
Greg Kinnear will start in the upcoming film ‘Heaven Is for Real.’ (PHOTO: Facebook)

Originally published in Charisma News

Production has begun in Canada for the movie adaptation of Todd Burpo’s runaway best-selling book, Heaven Is for Real (Thomas Nelson), UPI reports. The film is scheduled for theatrical release around Easter 2014.

Filming started last week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on the family feature—starring Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a small-town pastor in Nebraska, TriStar Pictures says.

Published in November 2010, Burpo’s account of his young son Colton’s near-death experience of heaven has sold more than 8 million copies in the past two years. Translated into more than 30 languages, Heaven Is for Real has spent more than two years on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list, including 17 consecutive weeks at No. 1.

Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) is portraying Burpo’s wife, Sonja, and first-time actor Connor Corum plays Colton, while Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) has the role of family friend Jay Olson. Kinnear’s acting credits include The Last Song and As Good as It Gets, which garnered him an Oscar nomination for his supporting role.

Randall Wallace—who wrote the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart and directed Secretariat—is directing Heaven Is for Real, which will be produced by Joe Roth (Oz the Great and Powerful and Alice in Wonderland) and T.D. Jakes, pastor at the Potter’s House in Dallas, best-selling author and co-producer of the movie Jumping the Broom. Wallace also wrote The Touch, a novel from Tyndale House Publishers.

Heaven Is for Real’s “true story and message of hope through the eyes of a child has already brought comfort and inspiration to millions,” says Matt Baugher, senior vice president and publisher of Thomas Nelson’s recently resurrected imprint W Publishing Group. “The film will do the same.”

Heaven Is for Real is being overseen at Sony Pictures’ TriStar division, led by DeVon Franklin, author of Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self (Howard Books).


  1. Because Christianity is such a contentious business and everyone seems to have a different interpretation about everything, from what one must do to be saved and what happens to a disciple of Jesus Christ when he or she dies, and everything in between, etc. that I have basically reached the stage where I just cannot be bothered anymore and I am very reluctant to comment publicly on anything these days.

    However, after reading this article, I recalled that when I recently heard the testimony of young Colton Burpo, I nearly jumped out of my skin. This little boy does not know much, if anything, about what is taught about what happens to a disciple of Jesus Christ when he or she dies, and when he said that Jesus Himself, Personally came to fetch him when he died, it confirmed what I have tried to explain to people for so long.

    The death of a true disciple of Jesus is so precious that when we die, Jesus Himself Personally comes to fetch us to spend eternity with Him forever. I hope this aspect will be highlighted and developed fully in the movie. No other religion has such a loving Saviour.

    John 14:1-3
    1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
    2 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
    3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJ)

    I am convinced that it is because of these Words of Jesus that the Apostle Paul could say:

    2 Cor 5:6-9
    6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
    7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
    8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
    9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

    Warm regards in Jesus Christ

  2. As I understand Scripture, both the Old and the New Testament state that when we die we remain in the grave until the end time return of christ when all of the “dead in Christ” will be raised up.
    How then, can go straight to heaven at one’s death? This is a total contradiction of all that both the OT writers and our Lord taught.
    In Christ,

  3. Hello Mike
    Please consider the following:

    Luke 23:42-43
    42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
    43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

    Luke 16:22-23
    22 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
    23 “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (NKJ)

    You will notice that the thief on the cross was promised that he would that same day, upon his death, be with Jesus in Paradise.

    You will also notice that the rich man, upon his death, was immediately in a place of torments and that Lazarus was immediately carried by angels to Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise.

    In the book of Hebrews we come to the realisation that we have a better covenant and one of the benefits of that better covenant is that when we die as saints of the Most High God, Jesus Himself, who of course may also be accompanied by angels, comes to meet us as we step from this life into that glorious life after death.

    I am by no means the sharpest knife in the drawer, but we all have a responsibility to build one another up in the faith and encourage and comfort one another with the Word of God.

    It is an indisputable fact that whoever one is serving (God or satan)at the time of one’s death determines where and with whom one will spend eternity. This can be a very sobering thought.

    As long as we stick with what the Word says, and especially what Jesus says, I will be more than happy to discuss this matter further with you.

    My email address is johnfs@mweb.co.za if you wish to correspond with me privately.

    Warm regards in Jesus Christ
    John Saunders

  4. Wonderful. Man in his own wisdom, not God’s Wisdom has made a great hoo-haa of a
    simple message of hope. I enjoyed the book, I think mainly as it was written with the simplicity of the child’s experience. When I die, I believe that Jesus won’t need to come fetch me… As He is with me each moment of my life! I look forward to the movie as a wonderful ministry tool. I’ll sponsor the folk I’ve been praying for & speaking to for all these years. ‘Out of the mouths of babes…’ God Bless.

  5. Sigh.

    This kind of thing is what continues to perpetuate mythical and frankly unchristian ideas of heaven that have no basis in the Bible at all.

    For example, at some stage in the book everyone in heaven has wings. That’s not in the Bible, God’s revealed Word that gives us everything we need to know about heaven.

    I don’t doubt that this boy may have had a vision, but I do doubt that he really went to heaven. When Paul claimed he went to heaven in 2 Corinthians 12, he said he wasn’t permitted to give much detail.

    This is just another case of people with big bucks making something that they know will make big bucks, and millions of Christians who don’t read their Bible will leave thinking this nonsense must be in the Bible, and will argue that it is with their friends who are perhaps a little more level-headed.

  6. This is my final comment.

    When we allow the Bible to explain itself, and when we are in unity about what the Bible says, then it is there that God pours out His blessings. God does not pour out His blessings where there is a continuous dispute and contention about everything in His Word.

    Referring to the statement:
    “For example, at some stage in the book everyone in heaven has wings. That’s not in the Bible,..” please consider and ponder the following, especially verse 30:

    Matt 22:25-30
    25 “Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother.
    26 “Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh.
    27 “Last of all the woman died also.
    28 “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
    29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
    30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (NKJ)

    Warm regards in Jesus Christ
    John Saunders