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Over the years we've seen many actors portray God on the big screen, from George Burns to Morgan Freeman, but now it is apparently Octavia Spencer's time toe become omnipotent and all-powerful. This is because she is now in final negotiations to play God in an adaptation of the novel The Shack, which is now in the works over at Lionsgate.
Variety has gotten the scoop on this casting, reporting that newcomer director Stuart Hazeldine will be at the helm of the project. The book, penned by author William P. Young, centers on a man named Mackenzie Allen Phillips, who is devistated following the abduction of his youngest daughter, Missy, during a family vacation. Following an investigation, it appears that the girl has been brutally murdered, with evidence discovered in an abandoned shack in Oregon. Four years late, Mackenzie receives a note inviting him back to that shack - but rather than being from a murderer who is taunting him, the letter is actually from God. He makes the trip to the place of his nightmares, but it is there that he "finds something there that will change his life forever."
As you might have been able to tell by this point, The Shack is considered a Christian novel, and while it was initially self-published, it has gone on to be a huge hit. Since it was released in 2007, 18 million copies have been sold worldwide, and it was the #1 paperback trade fiction seller on The New York Times Best Seller list for nearly two years. Given this built-in audience, it's not a huge surprise that Lionsgate is trying toe make a movie out of it - though its worth noting that they've been sitting on the rights since early 2013.
Since her big win at the 2012 Academy Awards for her performance in The Help, Octavia Spencer has been rather all over the place, working on both film and television projects. Some of her most notable titles have includes James Ponsoldt's Smashed, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station, Joon-ho Bong's Snowpiercer, and the Steven Spielberg-produced television series Red Band Society. She'll very soon be seen in the blockbuster Divergent sequel, Insurgent (which comes out on March 20th), though she also has two more completed projects under her belt and coming out soon in The Great Gilly Hopkins (with Julia Stoles, Kathy Bates and Glenn Close) and Fathers and Daughters (with Aaron Paul, Amanda Seyfried and Russell Crowe).
The Shack is still in pre-production, but there is a plan in place to having filming start some time this spring. Lionsgate has not yet announced a release date, but it wouldn't be a huge shock to see this movie make its way to theaters either at Christmas time, or maybe even timed with Easter next year.