Movie: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ (Updated)

Movie: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ (Updated)

May 09









May 9, 2014 Update


April 20, 2014 Update

• Boy Who Claims He Nearly Died and Went to Heaven Reveals How an Image on CNN Captured Exactly What He Saw


April 15, 2014 Update


April 9, 2014 Update


March 28, 2014 Update

• Hollywood Director Speaks To Students, Screens ‘Heaven Is For Real’


March 20, 2014 Update


March 18, 2014 Update


March 13, 2014 Update


March 4, 2014 Update

• God ‘Is Bigger Than Hollywood’: Father Whose Young Son Said He Visited Heaven Reveals Film Details
Rascal Flatts Song “Compass” To Be Featured In Upcoming Movie “Heaven Is For Real”


February 13, 2014 Update

• Added “Finding True Love” poster


January 31, 2014 Update

• Added link to the Facebook movie page for ‘Heaven Is For Real’

• Added comments from Nancy Evans Bush about this movie


Hollywood Director Speaks To Students, Screens ‘Heaven Is For Real’
By Mitzi Bible
Liberty University News Service
March 27, 2014

Original Link

Screenwriter, director, and producer Randall Wallace visited Lynchburg on Wednesday to speak in Liberty University’s Convocation and to screen his new film, “Heaven is for Real,” based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor who wrote about his son Colton’s near-death experience at age 3, accompanied Wallace to Lynchburg. After Convocation, a campus tour, and meeting with students and staff at Liberty’s Cinematic Arts Center, Wallace and Burpo were scheduled to only show the film to members of Liberty’s administration at Regal Ridge Ridge Stadium 14. But students were so enthused with Wallace’s Convocation message (where they also saw a trailer for the film), that President Jerry Falwell, Jr. invited all students. Sony Pictures bought 1,100 seats, and the film was shown on five screens.

Randall Wallace

Randall Wallace

Wallace said it was the largest screening so far and the only one to be held at a university. The film releases to the public nationwide on April 16.

Wallace, who gave the Commencement address at Liberty in 2011, said he still calls Lynchburg home, having spent much of his childhood here. He graduated from E.C. Glass High School and still has family living in the area.

Wallace is widely known for writing the screenplays for “Braveheart” and “Pearl Harbor” and directing Disney’s “Secretariat.” He also wrote, directed, and produced “We Were Soldiers” and “The Man in the Iron Mask.”

At Convocation, Falwell introduced Wallace as a “consummate storyteller” who has become a close friend of his family.

Wallace shared with students his experience filming “Braveheart” in Ireland and seeing for the first time the words he had written come to life. During the filming of one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson), stormed onto the battlefield and gave a speech that rallied the Scottish army (more than 3,000 actors) so much so that they veered from the original script and all became overly excited at once.

He said he realized then that the words he had written had caused them to believe it could really happen — even on a movie set.

“It’s the idea that they felt it, they believed it; they knew the weapons were rubber, they knew the costumes were just costumes, the cameras were just cameras filming a performance, but something deeper made it real,” Wallace said.

He continued: “My job is to inspire others, and I can’t do it if I’m not inspired myself. You are here to be leaders,” he told students. “What will you do with that leadership? I believe the only way to be a true leader is to be a follower of Jesus.”

Though a break from the action-packed movies he has directed in the past, Wallace said the story behind “Heaven is for Real,” instantly intrigued him.

“I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to do anything else with my career, with my life as long as I have it, except do stories I believed in,” he said.

Wallace and Burpo participated in a question-and-answer session with Falwell and Johnnie Moore, senior vice president of communications, at the end of Convocation. They talked about society’s recent fascination with the mystery of Heaven.

“I hope it puts our country back on track,” Burpo said. “With our story, everyone recognizes you’re not going to get more pure, or more innocent, or more accurate of a witness than a child. People can’t explain away what he saw by the drugs and chemicals creating memories that he never had. He either experienced this or he didn’t, and if he did, Heavenly answers are the only answers you’re going to come up with.”

Todd Burpo, father of Colton Burpo

Todd Burpo, father of Colton Burpo

In an interview following the afternoon screening, Wallace said he was moved by the comments from Liberty students who approached him afterward.

“In making this (film) we thought the appeal of the movie would either be for the very young or for adults who had children already,” he said. “It was great to see how much (the students’) hearts were open, they were emotionally caught up with the story.”

Burpo said the scariest decision in his life was deciding to work with Hollywood on the project. He prayed for three years, and about a year ago, he felt God calling him to the challenge and he knew it would have a huge impact like the book has.

“The movie never hides Jesus; it doesn’t hide the struggle of faith … this movie is going to put all those honest issues on the table in front of you to sit down and talk to someone with in a way that isn’t compromising, but it’s not offensive either,” Burpo said. “I think there’s going to be incredible conversations about God because of this. I really feel that this movie, like the book, is going to have some staying power.”

Burpo said many students also came up to him afterward, telling him they wanted to bring family members and friends to see the film.

Freshman Kathy Phillips attended the screening.

“I definitely want to tell other people to see it,” she said. “It was really inspirational, the whole concept of having a childlike faith.”

Phillips said she was grateful to Liberty and Sony for the chance to hear from a Hollywood director and view the film.

“It’s really unique to Liberty,” she said. “I feel really blessed to get to go to a school where we have these different opportunities.”


Rascal Flatts Song “Compass” To Be Featured In Upcoming Movie “Heaven Is For Real”
By Brandy McDonnell
March 4, 2014

Original Link


A new Rascal Flatts song titled “Compass” will be featured in the upcoming Sony Pictures film “Heaven Is for Real,” which opens nationwide on Wednesday, April 16.

The song also will be included on Flatts’ forthcoming Big Machine Records album, “Rewind,” available May 13. The album is now available for pre-order at

Based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, “Heaven Is for Real” brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world….

As the best-selling country vocal group of the past decade, Rascal Flatts (lead singer Gary LeVox, bassist Jay DeMarcus and Picher-bred guitarist Joe Don Rooney) have sold more than 22.5 million albums and more than 28 million digital downloads since their musical debut in 2000. The superstar group has delivered 14 No. 1 singles to the top of the charts and have the distinction of being one of only four acts during the SoundScan era to have seven consecutive studio albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

Rascal Flatts have earned more than 40 trophies from the American Country Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, People’s Choice Awards and more. In 2012, the trio reached a new career milestone with more than 7 million concert tickets sold, and the group will hit the road again this spring with the “Rewind Tour 2014″…


God ‘Is Bigger Than Hollywood’: Father Whose Young Son Said He Visited Heaven Reveals Film Details
By Billy Hallowell
March 5, 2014

Original Link

Todd Burpo, the father of a boy who said he visited heaven during a near-death experience, told TheBlaze the forthcoming film “Heaven Is for Real” about his family’s story offers a truthful exploration of what they went through.

Colton Burpo, now 13, says he visited heaven in 2003 when he was seriously ill with a burst appendix. He says he saw Jesus, angels and deceased relatives. The family first told Colton’s story in a book.

Over the years, Burpo, a pastor and no stranger to the media, has regularly shared his son’s claims through books, interviews and church visits. But making a motion picture offered up a new and uncommon experience — one in which the family collaborated with Hollywood executives to ensure the story was truthfully and accurately told.

Burpo told TheBlaze he believes the Lord’s “hand was shown all the way through” the movie-making process.

“Well, I think God told me at the beginning of this process that he was going to show me that he is bigger than Hollywood,” Burpo said. “And when you think of Hollywood you don’t think of honesty and you don’t think of moral messages and integrity but God said, ‘You watch.’”

Burpo said he stands by the finished product and that the most remarkable part of the process was all of the individuals and moving parts he believes God brought together in perfect form.

In making “Heaven Is for Real,” Burpo said he was hopeful that director Randall Wallace would capture how unwavering, consistent and uncompromising Colton was in sharing the intricate details of his experience.

“It’s not compromised and yet since a little kid is the main preacher it doesn’t come across as preaching. This is what I saw. This is what I experienced and they did that incredibly well,” he said.

Burpo said the movie will accomplish two specific goals better than his book did. The first is the depiction of small-town life and the second is the notion that it is okay to struggle.

“Small-town life — if you’re in a city you don’t understand that dynamic. There’s no place to hide in a small town and people go, ‘well you just made this up,’” he said.

Burpo continued, “But I’ve got about 2,000 witnesses that could talk to my son at any time, that remember him going to the hospital, many have come and prayed for him, I mean you can’t make something like that up in a small town and I think at the end of the day the movie will depict that better than the book.”

And then there’s the issue of personal struggles. Burpo believes that the film will show that one’s life doesn’t have to be perfect if he or she wishes to be “a follower of Christ.” He said that people often become believers and then work on fixing their lives as they go.

“It’s okay to struggle. I think a lot of people think well because I’m struggling I don’t have faith,” he added. “God doesn’t give up on struggle, he doesn’t quit on struggle. I think it’s good for strugglers to know to not quit on God in the midst of struggle. I think the movie depicts that well.”

Burpo addressed his family’s critics, noting that there are Christians and atheists alike who don’t believe his son’s story. In the end, he thinks much of this doubt is rooted in the fact that Colton’s experience is “not scientific” in the traditional sense.

“The other thing is that most of us judge the world from our lens — ‘If this happened to me it’s legit, if it didn’t happen to me it’s not legit and we need to change our lens,” he continued.

Despite critique, Burpo said that there are many Christians who are willing to say that while they haven’t had a similar near-death experience, they’re open to the possibility.

Burpo told TheBlaze in December about his son’s revelations and how these tidbits eventually led him and his wife, Sonja, to believe that Colton had truly experienced something profound.


Movie About Colton Burpo

Release Date: April 16, 2014

Plot Summary:

Original Link

Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, “Heaven is for Real” brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

The film stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.

Randall Wallace of “Brave Heart” fame is the writer/director.



By Diane Wetzel
January 2, 2014

Original Link

On April 16, the story of Colton Burpo and his extraordinary journey will come to the big screen.

41H8unOsgmL._SL210_The movie, “Heaven is For Real,” is based on the best-selling book by Colton’s father, Todd Burpo, and Lynn Vincent. It is the story of Colton’s visit to heaven when he was 4 years old.

When Hollywood came calling with a proposal to turn the best-seller into a major motion picture, Todd Burpo and his family did a lot of praying.

“I didn’t know anything about making movies,” Burpo said. “I had to learn to trust. God has to bring a lot of people to the project so the story can be told well and told right.”

After having an emergency appendectomy at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte 10 years ago, Colton Burpo told his parents about looking down to see the doctor operating and later seeing his miscarried sister and great-grandfather, who had died 30 years before he was born.

The story of Colton’s experiences and the family’s struggle to understand formed the basis for the book.

The film, starring Greg Kinnear as Todd and Connor Corum as Colton, was written and directed by Randall Scott, who brought the films “Braveheart,” “Pearl Harbor” and “We Were Soldiers” to the screen. The cast also includes Kelly Reilly as Sonia Burpo and Thomas Hayden Church and Margo Martindale.

“It was weird watching someone portray you,” Burpo said. “He played a better me than I do. There are some incredibly talented people involved, so it was easy for me to support [the project.] I did spend a lot of sleepless nights to get to this point.”

The movie is about a family that is embedded in Nebraska life, Burpo said.

“I was in high school when the movie ‘Footloose’ came out and it kind of made fun of small-town folk and the small-town way of life,” he said. “This movie is the opposite. It’s about people from the Heartland and it will make the Heartland life look pretty good.

“We all go through things, and I don’t think anyone will not be able to connect with it,” Burpo said. “When you have a little guy and just about lose him, how heart wrenching that is. Then that little boy starts to say things. There is a discovery of life that is incredible. Children are the purest, most innocent witnesses you are going to get. He wasn’t preprogrammed, he just told us what he saw. The movie is about us coming to terms with what he saw.”

The decision to go public with Colton’s story was a risk, Burpo admits.

“We knew some people would doubt it, attack it and criticize us,” he said. “We knew that would happen. We knew how much our son’s sharing helped us. We had to ask ourselves if it was right to keep that to ourselves. I had to make a decision. We took a risk, and with God, it’s worth it.”

It’s been three years since Burpo was first contacted about doing a movie, a rather fast track for the average Hollywood production.

“Most of it was filmed this summer,” he said. “It took about six weeks of filming from start to finish. There are so many steps involved, all the layers that go into a movie make it incredible. Each layer has its own quality of work that goes into it.”

Burpo talked with Scott many times while the screenplay was being written.

“By the time I saw the screenplay, it was very well done,” he said. “My input was on minor things.”

Burpo said he was nervous about seeing his book made into a movie.

“It’s been another new road for us,” he said. “The only way I can describe it is to say that for anyone in their right mind to have someone from Hollywood come along and say, ‘By the way, we want to put your life on film and trust us,’ takes some faith.”

Colton has not seen the completed film, which is still in post-production.

“He read the script,” Burpo said. “He said, ‘I would go watch this.’ ”

God was with the project every step of the way, he said.

“A lot of the people who worked on the movie are people who weren’t people of faith,” Burpo said. “Yet at the same time, I really feel that everyone came together to tell Colton’s story in Colton’s way. I feel good about their commitment.”

Despite their fame, the Burpo’s are still living in Imperial where Todd is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church.

“We struggle to stay as normal as possible,” he said. “I am still a member of the volunteer fire department, still the chaplain for the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters.”

On the decision to go ahead with the movie, Burpo said his motivation was the same as it was when he wrote the book — to share Colton’s story in the hope of making a difference in people’s lives.

“If the original feeling was to help people, then when do you stop?” he said. “If you’ve done something that has made a difference, when do you stop? Until God says it’s time to stop … until then you keep moving forward.”

Story about family from Imperial headed for the big screen in April.





Heaven Is For Real: Alternative Universes Of NDE Life
By Nancy Evans Bush
Dancing Past The Dark Blog
January 30, 2014

Original Link

The movie Heaven is for Real is coming out at Easter, and all hell is going to follow. Here’s how I know.

During the past week, this email arrived in my inbox:

“The movie, Heaven Is for Real, is coming out at Easter. It’s the story of 4-year-old Colton Burpo’s NDE. His father’s book has been on the bestseller list for more than 3 years. It’s a Christian NDE account, and I flatly predict it will propel NDE-awareness into the stratosphere for the general public – beyond any and all the books that have been written thus far – with the exception of Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life.”

The friend who forwarded the message to me had responded to its author, “This is incredible news…Thank you so much for alerting me.”

At Easter. Of course. And now I was on high alert as well, though in a different direction.

You may have read Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, if only because it is likely to wind up rivaling Agatha Christie for longevity on best-seller lists. In its simplest element, it is a sweet story. The little boy was three at the time of his NDE, four when he began mentioning it to his parents. He said angels sang to him, and he sat on Jesus’ lap .

If the resulting book dealt only with that part of his story, all might have been well. But the child’s father is a conservative Protestant pastor, a biblical literalist. By the time the sincere but hardly impartial father stopped asking questions, and the boy stopped adding details in response to those questions, seven years had passed and the entire project was in the hands of Lynn Vincent, the ghost writer behind Sarah Palin’s memoir, Going Rogue. Further, the relative simplicity of the few original details had grown as the boy grew, into an elaborated account of Christian exclusivity and holy warfare that puts Revelation imagery into the hands of human warriors resembling Marvel comic book heroes.

The book was published in November, 2010. Today, the end of January, 2014, its front cover announces sales of more than eight million copies; of 6,249 Amazon reviews, 84% (5,345) boast four or five stars. The writer of my email message is certainly right about the story’s hitting the stratosphere.

I can authoritatively report that four hours of reading those reviews, while not an exhaustive study, has been exhausting but informative. Not surprisingly, most of the reviewers identify as Christian, though with a wide range of theological perspectives and opinions about the book. What has struck me is that of the four- and five-star reviews, few are longer than two or three lines. In fact, the average number of words is inversely related to the number of stars. Reviews giving one or two stars may run to paragraphs, sometimes pages, as readers analyze their unfavorable views, their reasons for negativity and degree of distress. In fact, reading through pages of reviews is like discovering alternative universes of thought, entirely separate and distinct, with depth of expression thinning out as the stars increase.

Perhaps my favorite quote is this, from a pastor:

“Many of my members read this story and loved it because of its immature understanding of God. I find it sad that we continue to produce literature like this that is self serving and fails to capture the real message of Jesus. By the way, I have no doubt that many reading this will be greatly offended by my opinion.”

I surely do relate!

Substitute the word Spirit or transpersonal experience for ‘Jesus’ in the pastor’s sentence, and we can lament with him the same superficial and immature understanding that plagues almost the entire world of near-death studies. Consider a view that came to me shortly before the forwarded email. The editor of a well-respected professional journal wrote in his column:

“We scrupulously avoided recounting of NDEs by [people outside this field]. Too often these people follow this suspect sequence: report a NDE, write a book on their NDE that purports knowing the meaning of life, the answer to what happens after we die, and confirms that there is a heavenly life after death. Then they start giving seminars, lectures, paid consultations, writing more books, sell DVDs, blogging, and shilling on their website…Like the long ago purveyors of ectoplasm, there is a fringe commercial NDE industry whose testimony lacks credibility.”

And here comes Heaven is for Real, the movie. At least in my part of the NDE universe, I tell you, it’s going to be hell.



NDE Stories on Colton Burpo

‘Heaven Is For Real’ Movie Page on Facebook
• ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Website
• ‘Heaven Is For Real’ on Facebook
• ‘Heaven Is For Real’ on Twitter
• Wikipedia on ‘Heaven Is For Real’
• ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Dominates Best-Seller Lists
• A Little Boy’s Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
• Colton Burpo Videos (includes ability to download)
• Heaven Is For Real (book)
• Heaven Changes Everything: Living Every Day with Eternity in Mind (book)

• NDE Articles on Pulse
• Pulse on NDEs
• How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World
• The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth
• The Light & The Life Review (v4.4)
• The Essence of Near-Death Experiences (In 8.5 Minutes)
• Powerful, Life-Changing Near-Death Experience Quotes
• When Loved Ones & Friends Pass From This World To The Next
• NDE Stories
• NHNE’s Collection of NDE Testimonials – Archive One
• NHNE’s Collection of NDE Testimonials – Archive Two
• Historical Near-Death Experiences
• Celebrity Near-Death Experiences
• NDEs & Hell
• NDEs NOT Caused by Malfunctioning Brains
• NDE Take-Aways
• The Mustard Seed Venture – NewHeaveNewEarth Community Center
• NHNE NDE Social Network
• NHNE NDE on Facebook
• NHNE NDE on Google+
• NHNE NDE on Twitter
• NHNE NDE Bookstore



  1. I saw Colton’s story on the 700 club and I liked it. Hey David, have you ever saw Mary Baxter’s story or angelica’s? They are not real NDEs.

  2. Cianna, are you talking about this Mary Baxter: ? And, no, I am not familiar with Angelica’s story. Angelica who?

  3. Yes I am talking about Mary Baxter from near, but the NDE of Angelica Elizabeth Zambrano Mora is even more problematic, it is title famous people in hell. Angelica claims she saw famous people like Michael Jackson in burning for eternity in hell.

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