Who's Starring in "Heaven is for Real" and What You Can Expect

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing
April 13th, 2014

"Heaven is for Real" is a 2014 film based on the 2010 book by Pastor Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. The story is about a near death experience (NDE) Burpo's son Colton experiences at the age of three. The film recounts Colton's story of visiting heaven, riding rainbow-colored horses, and interacting with his miscarried sister and Jesus Christ.

Meet the Cast:


greg-kinnear.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Greg Kinnear

Kinnear is best known for his Oscar-nominated role in "As Good as it Gets" and for playing Meg Ryan's boyfriend in "You've Got Mail." He has also been nominated for awards for his work on "Talk Soup" and "Modern Family." The Indiana native was born in 1963 and grew up partially in Lebanon and Greece due to his father's job as a US State Department Diplomat.

Kinnear gradated from high school in Greece and returned to the states to attend college. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a broadcast journalism degree in 1985. After a short-lived game show hosting gig, Kinnear went on to host "Talk Soup" from 1994 to 1995, then  hosted his own late night talk show called "Later with Greg Kinnear."

Daymon Wayans's "Blankman" featured Kinnear in his first big screen role. In 1997, Kinnear received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Simon Bishop in "As Good as it Gets." The actor went on to appear in other notable films including "Sabrina," "You've Got Mail," "Stuck on You" and "Invincible." Kinnear plays Pastor Todd Burpo, father of Colton Burpo and the real-life author of "Heaven is for Real," in the upcoming film.



kelly-reilly.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Kelly Reilly

The Empire Award-winning British actress plays Todd Burpo's wife Sonja in "Heaven is for Real." She starred opposite Denzel Washington in the 2012 film "Flight" and opposite Jude Law in "Sherlock Holmes." She also appeared in "Me and Orson Welles" with Zac Efron and Claire Danes.

Born in Surrey England in 1977, Reilly first achieved recognition as a London stage actress in 2003. The following year, she received a nomination for the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress. She landed her first lead film role in the 2008 horror film "Eden Lake," and had a high-profile role in the popular British television series "Above Suspicion" the following year. She stars as neuroscientist Catherine Black in the ABC-TV series "Black Box," set to begin airing later this month.



connor-corum.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Connor Corum

Corum is a Hollywood newcomer who recently turned six. The Cleveland, Ohio, native plays three year old Colton Burpo.



martindale.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Margo Martindale

Margo is best known for her Emmy Award-winning role on the FX Network series "Justified." She was also nominated for a Tony Award in 2004 for her role as Big Mama in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." She made her big screen debut in 1990 with a minor role in the Tom Cruise film "Days of Thunder" and had a minor but memorable role as Hilary Swank's mother in 2004's "Million Dollar Baby." The Texas-born character actress plays a skeptical church board member in "Heaven is for Real."


thomas-haden-church.jpgPhoto Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

Thomas Haden Church

Church is an Academy Award-nominated actor best known for his role in the 1990s sitcom "Wings" and for playing the Sandman in "Spider-Man 3." He played Thomas Harte in the acclaimed AMC series "Broken Trail" and won an Emmy for the role. Church has also won an IFP Independent Spirit Award and was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2005. In "Heaven is for Real," Church plays Jay Olson, a friend of the Burpos.

What to Expect from the Film

In "Heaven is for Real," Todd and Sonja Burpo recount their son Colton's claims that he took a trip to heaven during an appendectomy. The revelation, which the Burpos describe as "eye-opening," includes vivid descriptions of heaven and the souls Colton met while there. The film takes audiences inside Colton's account, recreating the heavenly scenes as he described them. After hearing their son's story, the Burpos are challenged to find meaning in his experience and overcome ridicule from church and family members who do not believe their son's story.

The film does not shy away from religious themes and is heavily focused on Jesus and Christianity. It is directed by Randall Wallace, who penned the screenplay for Mel Gibson's "Braveheart." Wallace says he believes in the story and hopes that it inspires others. Burpo says that he hopes the movie helps set the country back on the right track. He and others involved in the film expect it to resonate best with young people, Christians and the parents of young children but believe that it has the potential to touch and inspire anyone who watches it.

The cast of "Heaven is for Real" is comprised of very talented actors who are undoubtedly capable of relaying the Burpos' story in a compelling manner. Even audiences who are not religious may find the film comforting, as it deals with universal themes, such as fear of criticism, interpersonal conflict and crises of faith. "Heaven is for Real" hits theaters on April 16.