Actor, producer and Pure Flix Entertainment founder David A.R. White revealed in an interview with The Church Boys podcast this week exactly what fans can expect from "God's Not Dead 2," the sequel to the 2014 popular feature film about a Christian college student's battle with an atheist professor: an entertaining and related plot that comes with a bit of a twist.
"Following up 'God's Not Dead' wasn't that easy to do," White said. "[We wanted to] serve our audience with what they enjoyed from the first movie, but at the same token take it a step further and make it something different."
Viewers can expect a new cast, including Melissa Joan Hart ("Melissa & Joey" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") and Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives" and "Dallas"), with an appearance from "Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson, among others. White did say, though, that a few cast members from the original movie will be returning.
Listen to White discuss this and more below (starting at the 45:00 mark):
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While the first "God’s Not Dead" focused on atheist Professor Radisson, who was played by Kevin Sorbo, and his threat to fail a Christian student named Josh Wheaton after the pupil refused to disavow the existence of God, the new plot will have a bit of a different twist.
"This movie really centers around this female, [Christian] teacher in a high school, and she's trying to just answer a question," White said. "One of her students asks a question about Gandhi and then Martin Luther King and then Jesus ... and so she ... ends up answering this question as authentically as possible without bringing her beliefs into it, but the questions keep coming."
After parents get wind of the in-class discussion, they take legal action, leading to a courtroom discourse in which she defends herself.
When asked whether Hollywood is hostile to Christians — a frequent critique of the entertainment industry — White, who co-founded Pure Flix, a Christian movie house, more than 10 years ago in an effort to make faith-based and family friendly movies, said that it's important to be careful when assessing such issues.
"I think there's so much discrimination in our country ... it fuels hatred and it fuels all the ugly emotions so I don't want to walk around saying we're a victim from discrimination," he said. "I try to avoid that. Sure, there's no doubt about it — I'm sure people don't like what we do. We get a lot of hate emails."
But White, who said he doesn't get stuck in all that negativity, explained that the purpose of Pure Flix has been to make films that "uplift and inspire the human spirit, to bring people to higher level of insight about who God is, and the purpose that he has for their lives."
The producer said that his films are making a difference, noting that a young girl who was struggling with some issues shared a touching story about how "God's Not Dead" changed her life.
"There was a girl who was on the verge of committing suicide. She was cutting herself and she went to the first film," he said. "And she walked out of there, and she really felt God's love for the first time in her life ... it was the catalyst to break that addiction of cutting herself."
White said that it is amazing to see how God uses films to "impact peoples' lives."
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.