The same studio that released the successful and apologetics-driven films God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2 is working on a third installment in the series – but this one has a twist.
Called God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness and scheduled for release by PureFlix March 30, it follows the plight of a pastor (played by David A.R. White) after he is arrested for refusing to turn in his sermons to the government. When his church is burned down, he enlists the help of his estranged atheist brother (played by John Corbett) in a legal battle to rebuild it.
Unlike the Christian-vs.-atheist storyline of the first two films, A Light In Darkness will take a different direction when the pastor’s belief that God is good “all the time” is put to the test.
“The film is about forgiveness. It’s about love,” White told media members in October on the set in Little Rock, Ark. “… There’s so much fighting, there’s so much anger [in America]. You can’t watch the news and be happy – more so now than ever. I think this movie is relevant for that, and hopefully both sides of the aisle can go and watch this story about two brothers that really don’t like each other, which could be the symbolism of America, and healing and forgiveness and hope and love then follow. [Moviegoers] could walk out being encouraged.”
It is Corbett’s second faith-based film in less than a year. Known for starring in the mainstream hit movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Corbett played the lead role in the Christian movie All Saints in the summer of 2017. Corbett said he took the roles in the Christian movies simply because he was attracted to the stories.
“A movie like this is not a big-budget movie, which means everybody’s working because they like it,” Corbett said. “I read it and I really, really liked it.”
A Light In Darkness also will star veteran actor Ted McGinley (Do You Believe?, Happy Days, Pearl Harbor), Academy Award winner Tatum O’Neal (The Runaways, Paper Moon) and Shane Harper (Good Luck Charlie, God’s Not Dead).
God’s Not Dead (2014) and God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) each opened in the Top 5, with the first one ending its run with a $60 million gross and the second one $20 million.
“A lot of prayer went into this movie,” White said of the third film. “A lot of going back and forth: ‘Lord … What do you want in the next installment? We don’t want to repeat what we’ve done already, because we’re just trying fill a void. We want to do what You want us to do’”
Three writers were employed; the final screenplay was the result of nine drafts.
The film’s government-requesting-sermons angle isn’t far-fetched. Three years ago, the city of Houston tried to do just that as part of a lawsuit.
“It’s pretty relevant with what is going on,” White said.
Visit GodsNotDead.com for more information.
— by Michael Foust
Foust has covered the film industry for more than a decade. Visit his website, MichaelFoust.com