New film traces C.S. Lewis' journey from atheist to believer

Sunday, February 28, 2021
Michael F. Haverluck (

baptism (cross in water)A new movie depicting renowned Christian author C.S. Lewis’ conversion from atheism to Christianity is slated to be released this spring.

The setting of the film takes place in Lewis’ native England before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – the first book in his classic children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia, was published back in 1950.

Lights, camera, conversion

Adapted to the big screen from a one-man stage play, the new movie, The Most Reluctant Convert – similar to the play – depicts Lewis in three stages of his life, according to The Guardian, and it stars Max McLean, who reminisces about his younger years when he is an older adult.

“[Lewis went from being a] vigorous debunker of religion to the most respected Christian writer apologist of the 20th Century," McLean told The Guardian, noting that the late Christian scholar addressed complex questions that are difficult for a drama to explore. "But the words that we use are Lewis's – we have the rights. That helps because we're not as smart as he is."

Rights for the film were licensed by The C.S. Lewis Company, and McLean impressed that imitating an intellectual genius was not only challenging, but exhilarating.

"One of the great things about playing this role is it's fun to be this smart for 90 minutes – to be able to say these words and really embody them," shared McLean, who is the founder and artistic director of the faith-based company, Fellowship for Performing Arts, located in New York City.

It is reported that the anticipated movie portrays the iconic British writer while he taught as a professor at the prestigious Oxford University – a period in his life when his atheistic views gradually transformed until he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and became a born-again believer.

“Actor Nicholas Ralph portrays Lewis in his 20s,” CBN News recounted, while McLean – playing the older Lewis – has flashbacks. “Eddie Martin plays the childhood Lewis, and Tom Glenister plays Lewis' friend and fellow professor, J.R.R. Tolkien [the famed author of The Lord of the Rings book series].”

An intimate knowledge of Lewis

The Most Reluctant Convert was directed by and avid fan of Lewis, Norman Stone, who shot the film on location at the Oxford campus and its surrounding areas, and reports that production ended in December.

Stone’s thorough understanding of Lewis’s life is attested through his previous productions, including a movie drama about Lewis’ life, Shadowlands, and two documentaries he directed taking a close look at the Oxford scholar, according to CBN.

He admired Lewis’ boldness in sharing the gospel.

"Lewis looked truth in the eye – no matter what effect that would have," Stone explained to The Guardian. "That comes across in his writing, and it's one of the key things that made him popular.”

While discussing his latest work on Lewis – who is also renowned for his Christian classics, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters – Stone noted that the current pandemic makes for the perfect time to share Lewis’s journey leading to his faith in Jesus Christ.

“At certain times, society says, 'Think a little deeper,'” Stone added. “When you get something like COVID-19, then we should be thinking a bit more about things, and I think that's happening."

Others working on the film produced a number of highly anticipated and acclaimed projects over the years.

“Producers of the film include Matthew Jenkins, an executive producer on Kenneth Branagh's forthcoming Death on the Nile, and Ken Denison, whose previous productions include Disney's The Lion King," CBN informed.

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