“Miracles From Heaven” opens just about a week before Easter, and star Jennifer Garner said filming the movie in metro Atlanta ultimately led her back to church. But producer DeVon Franklin hopes the film, based on a memoir by a woman whose daughter was miraculously healed of a rare and serious condition, will appeal to everyone.
“When I was working on the script and working on the film, I was thinking, how do I make the miracle idea universal,” Franklin said during an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution while he was in town on a promotional tour. “We didn’t make it predominantly for a Christian audience. The family experience is a universal experience. Our hope is the movie is appealing to families across the board.”
Set in Texas, the movie was shot here to take advantage of Georgia’s generous filming-industry tax credits. Queen Latifah plays a supporting but key role as a compassionate waitress who turns unofficial tour guide and counselor when a sick little girl and her frightened mom chance into her restaurant.
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“Everybody who was working on the film was there for one reason: They fell in love with the story,” Franklin said. “From the grips to the cast, everyone involved had the same mission.”
Franklin read the book by Christy Beam, whom Garner portrays in movie, even before it was published and thought it would make a great film. Beam’s daughter Annabel, played by Kylie Rogers, was diagnosed with an incurable digestive disorder and it seemed any hope of a normal life was a long shot. Annabel was knocked unconscious in a freak accident; she fell to the ground inside a hollow tree. Once revived, she appeared cured of her debilitating condition and is happy and healthy today.
In an interview with “Good Morning Texas,” Garner said filming the movie was a transformational experience.
“I grew up going to church every Sunday of my life,” the mom of three said. “When I did move to L.A., it wasn’t something that was just part of the culture there in the same way. It didn’t mean that I lost who I was. There was something about doing this film and talking to my kids about it and realizing that they were looking for the structure of church every Sunday. It was a great gift of this film that it took us back to finding our local Methodist church and going every Sunday. It’s really sweet.”
Franklin hopes the film will be inspiring to people regardless of their faith background.
“Everyone can appreciate the miracles that are in their life,” he said. “We wanted to show that God is still in the miracle business. We can go and be a miracle to somebody right now.”