Actor Kevin Sorbo, whose 2014 film God's Not Dead was the surprise hit of the year, is hoping his next venture is just as successful.
God's Not Dead and its successor God's Not Dead II were shot on tiny budgets and made huge returns, the first taking $60 million on an outlay of $2 million and the second, released only this year, $20 million from a $5 million spend.
The films played on the alleged conflict between people of faith and godless institutions that seek to ridicule and undermine them. Sorbo has just wrapped up filming in Birmingham Alabama, on a third faith film, Let There Be Light, co-written with producer Dan Gordon by his wife Sam, also an actress. The new film is build around a famous atheist who converts to Christianity after a near-death experience.
Sam Sorbo told AL.com: "The idea hit me, I wonder what would happen if the world's greatest atheist had a come-to-Jesus moment?"
Reflecting on God's Not Dead, she said that "nobody in their right mind" would have predicted its success. "It was a surprise to understand the amount of support a good faith-based movie can garner. The flyover states have long been disregarded. We know people vote with their pocketbooks. That movie was a really great movie. Kevin's performance was so important. You hate him, then you feel sorry for him, then you love him. His performance was so important and memorable."
She spoke of an encounter Kevin Sorbo had with a woman who had seen the film: "At the airport, a woman came up to Kevin and said, 'Are you the star of God's Not Dead? He said, 'I am.' She said, 'That movie changed my life. I was a Muslim, but I just became a Christian. I just got baptised with my daughter.' That got to me. We need to be making those kind of films."
Let There Be Light scheduled for release in December 2017.