Lionsgate’s adaptation of William P. Young bestseller The Shack has finally found its maker, with Variety reporting that The Help and Insurgent star Octavia Spencer is poised to play God. Early negotiations are underway as Spencer has yet to fully commit to the movie.
After winning the rights to the novel back in 2013, the studio hooked a director last November in the shape of Stuart Hazeldine. The main thrust of his filmmaking experience stems from screenwriting, with the Brit having penned a number of as-yet un-produced epics (Spielberg’s Gods And Kings, for one), with his underrated indie, Exam, serving as proof that he’s got the skills to direct a knockout tale.
And what a knockout The Shack could be! Young’s novel racked up international sales of around 18 million, almost guaranteeing a built-in audience keen to see the popular tome on the big screen. The story follows a man whose youngest daughter is abducted and murdered, leading police to uncover sufficient evidence suggesting she met her grisly fate in an abandoned shack nearby. Four years later, the distraught father receives a note supposedly from God, asking him to return to the building…
Spencer’s bold onscreen presence more than qualifies her for the role. The fact that she’s a woman AND African American dispels the traditional Hollywood stereotype that God is a white dude with a long beard who spends his time casting judgment from the clouds. What other surprises will The Shack have in store for us? Only time will tell.
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.