Finally, an adaptation of William P. Young’s inspirational Christian bestseller The Shack is picking up steam over at Lionsgate, now that the studio has set Stuart Hazeldine to sit behind the camera on the project.
Hazeldine doesn’t have too much directing experience, but he’s made his mark on the film industry by scripting multiple epics, from Gods and Kings (the Moses pic which Steven Spielberg was developing before Ridley Scott powered ahead with Exodus) to Irish war saga Gods and Men and Bernard Cromwell adaptation Agincourt (which has Michael Mann set to direct). Previously, Hazeldine also helmed the BAFTA-nominated indie Exam, which he also wrote, and the short film Christian, about Jesus Christ disguising himself as a 14-year old boy to visit a tough British high school.
On The Shack, Hazeldine will be working from a script by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Netflix’s Marco Polo, upcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel The Green Legend) and teaming with Life of Pi producer Gil Netter. The project will surely attract lots of attention from the religious audience bases that made films like God’s Not Dead and Son of God surprise box office hits.
The plan is for Hazeldine to kick off production on The Shack next spring, for a possible release in late 2015 or early 2016. In case you missed Young’s book, here’s the Amazon synopsis:
Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.