Sheldon classic gets a modern makeover Print
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Monday, 13 September 2010 02:53 PM America/New_York

Producer’s personal encounter inspires movie version of ‘In His Steps’

WhatWouldJesusDoDVDFirst it was a book, then a wristband and a movement, and finally WWJD becomes a movie (6-25828-55980-8, $29.99, Nasser Entertainment Group), releasing this month.


The modern-day version of the best-selling 1896 novel by Charles M. Sheldon, In His Steps,  marks a 10-year labor of love for producer Joseph Nasser, whose Hollywood credentials include more than 50 films and working with the likes of Sidney Poitier, Faye Dunaway and Tom Berenger.

Nasser was battling cancer when his young son gave him a copy of the book. It inspired him in his health challenge, and he vowed that if he got well, he would personally answer the question, “What Would Jesus Do?”—and as a filmmaker bring the inspirational message to the screen.

But he found resistance to the project from his mainstream industry peers and some suspicion from the Christian world when he first introduced it. But many were won over when he premiered the adaptation at the International Christian Retail Show last year. “Everybody that saw it was extremely enthusiastic and inspired by the message,” Nasser said.

He also saw God’s hand on the production, he said—learning that Christian country singer Adam Gregory had written a song called “WWJD,” which Nasser chose to feature in the film, rewriting one of the characters so that the songwriter could make his acting debut.

John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) stars as a drifter who turns quiet Raymond upside down when he arrives in town with his radical question.

Nasser decided that updating the setting was important. “People had different concerns when it was written,” he said. “That was where 15 years of other filmmaking came into play.”

Including an e-book edition of the Sheldon original, the DVD releases to Christian retail a month ahead of the general market.

To order, call Bridgestone Multimedia Group at 800-682-7391, ext. 2002.