'The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis' to Release This Fall


Fellowship for Performing Arts, in association with Trafalgar Releasing, recently announced The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis, a new film tracing the spiritual journey of the renowned author of The Chronicles of Narnia. The movie will release as a special event in cinemas nationwide on November 3. Tickets are on sale now at www.CSLewisMovie.com.

The new biopic, directed by double-Emmy and double-BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker Norman Stone (BBC's Shadowlands, The Narnia Code), stars Max McLean, Nicholas Ralph, and Eddie Ray Martin. Acclaimed theatre actor McLean is featured as middle-aged Lewis looking back on the events that moved him from vigorous debunker of Christianity to become the most influential Christian writer of the past century.

"This story has a remarkable ability to engage audiences regardless of their religious belief," Max McLean shared. "Lewis applied his formidable and self-deprecating wit to engage audiences about his own trying and painful experiences." 

Nicholas Ralph, star of the PBS Masterpiece hit All Creatures Great and Small, plays Lewis as a young man who has a terrible relationship with his father and goes off to the trenches in the Great War, before becoming a fellow at Oxford University. The film introduces Eddie Ray Martin as the childhood Lewis, who loses his mother to cancer and then renounces his faith.

The Most Reluctant Convert is a ringside seat to the story of one of the 20th century's great thinkers, as he battles with himself and ultimately finds faith. The film explores the impact friends had on the dedicated atheist who was forced to question his own disbelief such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Hugo Dyson, and Owen Barfield.

The film is based on the hit U.S. play C.S. Lewis on Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it had been performed 287 times in 64 cities and on college campuses since its 2016 premiere. With extended runs in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. The Most Reluctant Convert has been seen by more than 100,000 people. The play and the film are based primarily on Lewis' memoir, Surprised by Joy, which is licensed from The C.S. Lewis Company.

At age 19, Lewis witnessed firsthand the waste of life in the trenches of France during World War I, concluding that "either there was no god behind the universe, a god who is indifferent to good and evil, or worse, an evil god." Yet, Lewis could not accept the materialist view that meaning, rationality, or purpose, were just the accidental results of physics and biochemistry. As a 16-year-old, he had picked up a copy of George MacDonald's Phantastes, which he said, "baptized my imagination."

MacDonald, along with G.K. Chesterton and the influence of his robust group of young scholars such as Tolkien, Barfield, and Dyson, moved him further up the theistic path until he finally "admitted that God was God, knelt and prayed, perhaps the most dejected, reluctant convert in all England."

Source: Rogers & Cowan PMK

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