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Jonathan Demme Courts Wright and Redford to Lead Congregation In ‘Come Sunday’

Written by on May 22, 2014 


Shortly following news that Jonathan Demme will, at long last, return to narrative filmmaking with the Meryl Streep-led, Diablo Cody-scripted picture Ricki and the Flash, it seems a bit of momentum is being gained on his end. Hopefully now broken of the circle-and-abandon pattern we’d seen him in for several years, THR say the helmer has been developing another title, Come Sunday, with plans to unite the talents of Jeffrey Wright and Robert Redford on a story of evangelical pot-stirring.

Robert+Redford+Arrivals+NY+Film+Critics+Circle+cweh8ZUG9TTlAs based on true events, the picture — scripted by Marcus Hinchey, adapting a This American Life broadcast from 2005 — would follow Carlton Pearson (Wright), whose Oklahoma empire was destroyed upon proclaiming that hell does not exist. (“Universal salvation,” this is sometimes called, while often outright disparaged.) First there was a lost election, attendance soon began to drop, and, within a few years, his hub, the Higher Dimensions Family Church, was lost. In Come Sunday there’s the journey of a man who “a must rebuild his church and his family and find his own personal faith,” perhaps guided by his mentor, Oral Roberts — to be played by Redford, should deals fall together — though the extent of this role remains undisclosed.

Demme is expected to begin shooting Come Sunday — a title once meant for Marc Forster; oy, talk about an upgrade — next spring, meaning he can, in the outlet’s words, “squeeze in another film first.” While odds say it’s the aforementioned Flash, that two films of his might hit within the next 18 months is a special notice all its own, even if one of them was a remake of an old CHiPs episode.

Endgame Entertainment will produce with Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp of This American Life.

Is notice of this potential Demme project encouraging?

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