It appears Hollywood is not slowing the trend of christian faith inspired films as the global hit "The Shack" will soon be heading to the big screen. Originally a book written by William P. Young, it will be adapted into a film directed by Oscar Winner Forest Whitaker and will star Oprah Winfrey and British actor Idris Elba, best known for his role of Russel 'Stringer' Bell in HBO's "The Wire."
The book was published in 2007 and stayed on the NY Times Best Seller list for over two years. In 2013, Summit Entertainment gained the rights to produce a film adaptation, which will begin shooting this summer in Vancouver.
The intense novel deals with traumatic loss and the grieving that follows. It is set in the American Northwest where the main character Mackenzie Phillips takes his children camping and during the trip, his youngest daughter is abducted and murdered by a serial killer. Mack then suffers from severe depression until he gets to a mysterious shack that helps him deal with his pain and own demons.
Many Christians were upset with the novel's unconventional way of portraying the Trinity. God the Father was portrayed by an African American Women, Jesus as a Middle Eastern carpenter, and the Holy Spirit as an Asian women. Celebrity pastor Mark Driscoll was heavily criticized for its not-bibically based perception of the Trinity, and said it was promoting goddess worship. Another book, "Thirteen Heresies in The Shack" by Michael Youssef discussed the 14 theological issues with novel.
With such a director and cast the film could potentially be in the run for an Oscar. This controversial film will be getting a lot of attention both in the Christian sphere as well as the secular world. The only question left is will the Christian community embrace or oppose that Hollywood would take on such a novel?