Christian filmmakers King Street Pictures have begun production on a groundbreaking faith-based fantasy adventure film which will be based on the iconic 1678 novel, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.
The Pilgrim's Progress, cited as the first novel written in English, has been translated into over 200 languages and has never been out of print. Now, the beloved Christian allegory will be put to film in "Heavenquest: A Pilgrim's Progress."
King Street Pictures announced on Friday that it started production on the cinematic version of The Pilgrim's Progress in Los Angeles and Redding, California. The film will bring together an international cast of well-known actors. The cast includes one of South Korea's most successful stars, In-Pyo Cha, as well as Karyme Lozano and Fernanda Romero from Mexico, Peta Sergeant from Australia, and Ricky Kim from South Korea. Well-known American Christian actor Alan Powell is also a part of the lead cast.
When asked about the importance of retelling this story on the silver screen and making it "action-packed and gritty," producer and principal of King Street Pictures, Dan Mark, said Christians are not one dimensional and can appreciate all types of entertainment.
"If we want to inspire, we have to entertain audiences first. With 'Heavenquest,' we're using the action and fantasy genres to retell a powerful story to a new audience. And to do that, it has to be gritty and authentic because that's what they expect and deserve, " Mark told The Christian Post.
"Christian audiences are not monolithic. They enjoy all kinds of content, whether fantasy, sci-fi, action. What better vehicles to tell stories than these genres which allow so much creativity in storytelling, and the ability to convey complex ideas and questions about faith, life, and love in a package modern audiences understand in the everyday language they speak in?"
According to the film's synopsis, "Heavenquest" presents an "epic new fantasy adventure film" which is inspired by Bunyan's classic tale. "In a war between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Eos, a regal man named Vangel is thrust on a journey against his will when he is suddenly and mysteriously arrested. Brought before the Southern King and sentenced to death, Vangel escapes a chain gang and flees for the North. Armed with a book called the Record of the Ancients that he receives from a wise sage, Vangel embarks on an adventure that takes him through haunted forests, dark swamps, and enchanted mountains while being hunted all the while by the Southern King's men in hot pursuit. Along the way, mysterious travel companions with special giftings arise and assist him on the journey, sharing about a fabled good king and pushing him onwards towards the Wicket Gate, the gateway to the North, while enemies lurk at every corner trying to derail him from his path," the description reads.
The 1678 novel is second only to the Bible itself in global Christianity sales and was inspired after Bunyan began his Christian allegory while in prison, accused of conducting religious services without permission.
"With this film, we're trying to break new ground in the faith-based genre. It's dirt-under-the-fingernails, action-packed, grittier, more stylistic, and more cinematic than what audiences have seen previously. Our cast is diverse, representing faith around the globe. We think this unique combination is the 'next step' faithful moviegoers have been looking for," Director Matt Bilen said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "We've wanted to make Heavenquest for so many years, I can't tell you what a thrill it is to be on set making this incredible epic brought to life."
The filmmakers hope for this film to reach the faith-based market in America as well as the untapped faith-based markets all around the world.
"As we have traveled the world, especially Asia, we have seen the strong demand for such content amongst Christians abroad, and we believe the next generation faith films should be designed to engage all of those audiences worldwide," Mark added.
"We believe our modern, edgy retelling of this classic story with a diverse international cast is going to pioneer new markets for faith-based content abroad and will capture the imagination of audiences worldwide, especially in Asia. So we are incredibly honored and blessed to have the esteemed In-Pyo Cha in our cast and as our executive producer. We couldn't have asked for a better creative partner to see this vision come to life on screen."
King Street Pictures was founded by entertainment lawyers. Its mission is to produce faith-based and faith-inspired genre films to "create immersive worlds, tell modern parables for today, and redefine what it is to be a faith based film."
For additional information on "Heavenquest," visit the website.