90 Minutes in Heaven producer explains why they stayed faithful to Don Piper's book

Michael Smith and Kate Bosworth in a scene from 90 Minutes in Heaven.(Facebook/90 Minutes in Heaven)

While a lot of directors and producers feel the need to exercise their creative liberties and make certain changes in the stories of the books they are translating into films, 90 Minutes in Heaven producer Rick Jackson has decided to remain true to the story written by Don Piper.

When the Baptist minister suffered from a terrible car crash back on January 18, 1989, four sets of paramedics declared him dead. During those 90 minutes, Piper said that he went to heaven, calling it a beautiful place where he saw several family members such as his great grandmother.

"It was very important for us to keep the integrity of the book, and let me tell you why," said Jackson. "I think a lot of people read books, especially true stories, and then the movie is not even close to the real story and they make up things. I told Don that I thought the story stood for itself and my commitment to him was that it would be true to the book, and be true period."

Kate Bosworth, who plays Piper's wife Eva, said she was amazed how Piper's story "affects so many people" and she feels blessed to be a part of the movie's cast.

"This story touches a lot of people's lives and gives them a lot of hope and comfort in times that I think are the most challenging that we have as people," she said. "So that's why I feel deeply honoured and thrilled to be a part of something that can really make a difference in a lot of people's lives. It's incredibly rare, and that's a gift."

Piper's book has sold over six million copies worldwide, and has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than five years. The film, which is directed by Bosworth's husband Michael Polish, will be released sometime during the fall this year.