One of the under-discussed success of 2014 (but one that won”t go unnoticed in Hollywood) is “Heaven Is for Real,” the adaptation of Lynn Vincent”s New York Times Bestseller. The true story of a kid”s near death experience and the visions of the afterlife he bestowed to his parents grossed over $90 million at the domestic box office, a huge hit for Sony Pictures and a career highlight for star Greg Kinnear. Those numbers must have instilled some faith in the actor: He”ll star alongside Renee Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou in the next Vincent adaptation, “Same Kind of Different As Me.”
According to a press release announcing the cast, Paramount Pictures's tongue-twisting drama tells the true story of “an international art dealer Ron Hall (Kinnear) who must befriend a dangerous homeless man (Hounsou) in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife (Zellweger), a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives.” Jon Voight also joins the ensemble as Hall's father, “with whom he reconciles thanks to the revelations of his new life.”
Vincent co-wrote the book with the real life Ron Hall, who steps up as screenwriter for the “Same Kind of Different As Me” adaptation. He cowrote the script with Alexander Foard and Michael Carney, who makes his directorial debut on the film. Carney”s previous work includes the short film “Jew,” which seems to align with Vincent”s faith-based sensibilities.
With less emphasis on the Christian angle, “Same Kind of Different As Me” could be the straightforward crowdpleaser Kinnear and Zellweger need. Let”s not forget, they”ve both seen awards love in the past: Kinnear had a brush with Best Supporting Actor when he was nominated for “As Good As It Gets.” Zellweger is a three-time nominee, winning Best Supporting Actress for he work in “Cold Mountain.”
There”s no word on when “Same Kind of Different As Me” will jerk the nation”s tears, but the film is currently rolling cameras in Jackson, Mississippi.