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Expectations set high for new ‘Heaven is for Real’ movie PDF Print E-mail
Written by Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican   

Movie executive Derrick Williams and Pastor Todd Burpo said God has played a strategic role in bringing the best-selling book “Heaven is for Real” to the big screen.

Burpo said God has been strategic in who he’s put in place to make the movie a reality.

Williams said the movie will help spread God’s global message around the world.

Williams visited Burpo’s Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Neb., Sunday, Dec. 8 to share some of the behind-the-scene aspects of getting the story to the big screen.

Pastor Todd Burpo listens as Derrick Williams talks about the new movie “Heaven is for Real” that will debut next Easter. Williams is the executive vice-president for T.D. Jakes Film and Entertainment, the entity that is producing the movie based on the best-selling book.

—Imperial Republican photo

Burpo said he first got a call from director and producer Joe Roth about turning the book into a movie.

Burpo said he had no idea who Roth was. Turns out, Roth was the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios for six years before starting his own studio.

What perplexed Burpo was that Roth, who is Jewish, would want to make a film about Christ.

Roth told him that the story of Burpo’s son, Colton, who had a near-death experience in heaven, was keeping him up at night. He just had to make the movie.

Williams is executive vice-president for T.D. Jakes Film and Entertainment.

Bishop Jakes is the senior pastor of The Potter’s House, a global humanitarian organization and 30,000-member church located in Dallas, Texas.

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Holyoke Enterprise January 9, 2014