For actors David A. R. White and John Corbett, making their new film God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness unique from its previous two installments was tough.

“We wanted it to be a standalone film, to stand on its own, and to have it’s own, you know — to be relevant,” White told uInterview exclusively. “And I think we’re living in this dark social-political divisive time where everybody’s yelling, nobody’s listening, and how do you bring unity in the midst of all of this stuff? And so it goes to the college campuses, it goes with a lot of the kids and their struggles and their questions about faith and questions about what’s going on. Is the church even relevant today when the church isn’t helping a lot of areas? That’s really the springboard that we wanted to take off of.”


In the film, White plays a pastor whose church is burned down and will likely not be rebuilt by the state. He calls in his attorney brother, played by Corbett, to help him save their family’s church.

White said he believes the film’s message is one of unity.

“The message is one of hope, and the message says it’s okay to disagree, it’s okay to have questions, it’s okay to be — wherever it is you are, it’s okay,” White said. “It’s just a matter of how do we get along? How do we open these discussions up and these conversations? I think that’s what this film does.”

Corbett, on the other hand, said he doesn’t make movies to give messages out.

“I just want people to be entertained and feel good when they leave the theater,” Corbett said. “Maybe if they feel like doing something nice for someone when they see a movie like this — holding a door, letting someone out of a parking spot — that’s always a bonus.”

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White said that though making religious movies now might be easier than it was nearly a decade ago, making movies is always difficult, and the ‘God’s Not Dead’ team made an effort to make the movie clear.

“Whether it’s an independent movie, an Avenger movie, no matter what, it’s not easy to get movies made, and I think people always say, ‘Well, it’s been eight years for me to get this thing done,’” White said. “And for us, we went through three different screen writers, probably 20-something drafts to figure out exactly what this movie was supposed to be, and that’s why I think, you know, we were not gonna stop until we did that. I think this movie, you know, we’ve been showing it around the country before the opening, and people are loving it, people are connecting to it, and it’s an inspiration to them. It’s bringing unity, it’s bringing love. It’s bringing these conversations from college kids all the way up to people who are our age and beyond, and that’s what we wanted to do with this film.”

God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness is now in theaters nationwide. 

Read uInterview’s full interview with White and Corbett below.

What’s the premise of this film?

David A. R. White: Well I play a pastor whose church is burned down, and our parents started this church. They started this university, and then the university got turned over to the state, and in the process, now the state doesn’t want to rebuild the church that was vandalized, and I have to call my brother for help, who happens to be an atheist. So you throw a pastor and an atheist together, and what do you get? Fireworks.

John Corbett: And the reason he’s calling his brother is his brother’s a big city attorney in Chicago who thinks he sees a way that this eminent domain that the city’s using to have him move his church is a little bit of a sham, and he doesn’t like to see his brother taken advantage of, so he agrees to come back home where they grew up, even with all this bad blood between them, and help.

How is this film attempting to reach a broader audience?

White: It was a tough thing for us to figure out what is the next installment of ‘God’s Not Dead,’ and we didn’t want to repeat what we did in the first and the second one. We wanted it to be a standalone film, to stand on its own, and to have it’s own, you know — to be relevant. And I think we’re living in this dark social-political divisive time where everybody’s yelling, nobody’s listening, and how do you bring unity in the midst of all of this stuff? And so it goes to the college campuses, it goes with a lot of the kids and their struggles and their questions about faith and questions about what’s going on. Is the church even relevant today when the church isn’t helping a lot of areas? That’s really the springboard that we wanted to take off of.

Does the film have a message?

Corbett: I don’t really make movies to give messages out. I just want people to be entertained and feel good when they leave the theater. Maybe if they feel like doing something nice for someone when they see a movie like this — holding a door, letting someone out of a parking spot — that’s always a bonus. You’ve probably thought about a message in this movie more than I have, though.

White: Well yeah, I think the message is one of unity. The message is one of hope, and the message says it’s okay to disagree, it’s okay to have questions, it’s okay to be — wherever it is you are, it’s okay. It’s just a matter of how do we get along? How do we open these discussions up and these conversations? I think that’s what this film does.

Is it easier to make religious movies now?

Corbett:That’s a good question.

White: Is it?

Corbett: Is it? I don’t know. I haven’t made —

White: Well you just did All Saints, for crying out loud.

Corbett: Well that was easy to make. Someone called me and said, ‘We want you to be in this movie.’ I did one last year called All Saints. You’ve been making [them] for years — today in 2018, is it easier than it was in 2010?

White: Sure. I mean, you know, it’s just a matter of — making movies is always difficult. It’s not easy to make a movie, no matter what you’re making. Whether it’s an independent movie, an Avenger movie, no matter what, it’s not easy to get movies made, and I think people always say, ‘Well, it’s been eight years for me to get this thing done.’ And for us, we went through three different screen writers, probably 20-something drafts to figure out exactly what this movie was supposed to be, and that’s why I think, you know, we were not gonna stop until we did that. I think this movie, you know, we’ve been showing it around the country before the opening, and people are loving it, people are connecting to it, and it’s an inspiration to them. It’s bringing unity, it’s bringing love. It’s bringing these conversations from college kids all the way up to people who are our age and beyond, and that’s what we wanted to do with this film.  

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