The Alliance acquired the rights to the book from the estate of C.S. Lewis in 1982 and has worked for years to see the story come to the big screen. The Alliance, formerly the Episcopal Media Center, is known for its Emmy Award-winning films for television, including the original animated version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the made-for-TV movie of Shadowlands, starring Claire Bloom. The Great Divorce will be the Alliance's first feature film production.
In The Great Divorce the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly English afternoon and embarks on a voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, and comes to some significant realizations about the nature of good and evil. It was published by C.S. Lewis in 1945 and is among his most popular works of fiction.
Beloved Pictures has named David L. Cunningham, whose credits include To End All Wars (20th Century Fox), to direct the film. Bob Beltz, special advisor to the Walt Disney Company Chronicles of Narnia films The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, and the Academy Award-winning Ray, is executive producer.
"This is a thrilling moment in the life of our ministry," said president and executive director of the Alliance, Canon Louis "Skip" Schueddig. "We have been close to the works of C.S. Lewis since 1958 when his later published book, The Four Loves, was recorded by him in London for broadcast on The Protestant Hour (now Day1)."
Over the years the Alliance has contributed to religious media through its national radio and Internet program, Day1, its pioneering television public service announcements and distribution of hundreds of media resources, including those of Trinity Television, to churches throughout the country.