The makers of “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof” and “Courageous” have completed their next film, “War Room,” which spotlights prayer, its power and purpose. Specifically, the movie tells the story of a prayer warrior grandmother (played by Karen Abercrombie) who mentors a young mom (DTS grad Priscilla Shirer) facing a troubled relationship with her husband (T.C. Stallings).
It releases in theaters today, Aug. 28, 2015.
The impetus for the movie goes back to 2012, when Alex Kendrick said he and his brother decided to “make a movie where we call the body of believers to pray” and to “fight in prayer.”
“When I talk to other believers, almost all of them have something of a strategy for their finances, for their health, for their children’s education, for their retirement,” he said. “But if you ask them ‘What’s your strategy for prayer?’ they look at you funny. What’s your strategy for praying for your spouse, for your children, for your children’s future spouse, for your church, for the leaders of our country?”
“War Room” is the fifth film for the Kendrick brothers, who have released a string of box office hits that began with the 2006 film “Facing the Giants.” Their last two movies opened in the Top 5, with their most recent one (“Courageous”) No. 1 on the first weekend in per-theater average. All of these films had low budgets by Hollywood standards. Alex is director and plays a character in the film, while Stephen is producer. The film also features Beth Moore and Michael Jr. in supporting roles.
Modern-day prayers, Alex Kendrick said, tend to focus only on things such as healing and travel safety. “Those are elementary prayers,” Kendrick said. “How do we get to the deeper things?”
“My hope for this movie is that people walk away being called to their knees,” said co-producer Gary Wheeler, who is working on his first Kendrick film. “I hope they leave this saying, ‘We have to fight our battles first in prayer. We have to be strategic in the way that we pray—in the way that we attack these struggles in our lives.’”
Although the Kendrick brothers’ films have included minorities in positive lead roles, this movie goes a step further, with an African-American family being the film’s primary focus. Stallings, who is black, said it’s a big deal, specifically because so many mainstream films cast African-Americans in a negative light.
“I am excited that there is a film that will show the other side,” said Stallings, who played a supporting role in the most recent Kendrick film. “Not every African-American man is not with his family. There are those out there who pray, who love the Lord, who are successful. For this movie to do that, it is encouraging. And I like the fact that it shows us winning against sin and problems. We’re victorious, we’re victorious through Christ. Maybe some families will say, ‘We can do that, too. We can come out of this if we pray.’”
Shirer, who honed her skills with an acting coach, was the directors’ first choice for the leading role. Alex describes her performance as “fantastic.”
For more information, visit WarRoomTheMovie.com. It is rated PG for thematic elements.
Photo credit: Ashley Scarbrough.