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‘Jesus was the Master Storyteller’: BRAVEHEART Writer Channeled Faith in His Work

Photo from Alpine Cinemas on Instagram

‘Jesus was the Master Storyteller’: BRAVEHEART Writer Channeled Faith in His Work

By Movieguide® Contributor

BRAVEHEART screenwriter and director Randall Wallace recently shared how God steered his journey through the movie industry. 

“I wanted to be a singer-songwriter,” Wallace said in an episode of Andrew Erwin’s “The Storytellers” podcast. “Kris Kristofferson had encouraged me to go to Nashville.”

The pair met after Wallace started his own record label. Kristofferson was in town for a concert, and Wallace shared some of his music with him. The country star told him to go to Nashville, which Wallace said “changed my life.”

Wallace headed to Tennessee and found work at Opryland while he worked on his music career. However, “cut off from friends [and] inspiration,” he soon found himself “getting in a dark place” and relying on alcohol. He then decided to move to California for a fresh start. 

He still planned on a music career, but after a girlfriend told him about a screenplay her father was working on, Wallace decided to give writing a try. 

“From the beginning, I thought, ‘This is my art form,’” he said. “I sat down one day and thought, ‘I’ll just write a page and see how this feels,’ and at the end of that page, I thought, ‘I’ve got to keep going, I’ve got to see what happens.’ It was just natural to me.”

Wallace found parallels between his passion for screenwriting and his strong Christian faith. 

“Growing up a Baptist, I read the Bible every day. I still do,” he said. “And I thought, ‘Okay, Jesus used stories’…and that’s how I see it. Jesus was the master storyteller. He spoke in different ways, He told parables, which were stories, and then He taught the meaning behind it…He emotionally engaged the audience.”

Wallace soon found success writing for TV but worked on a screenplay for what would become BRAVEHEART in his spare time. The success came to an end following a writer’s strike and the closing of the company he worked for. Wallace was “without prospects” and worried about supporting his family. 

“I got down on my knees, which was the only place I had to go, and I said this prayer: ‘If I go down in this fight, let me go down with my flag flying, not on my knees,’” he shared. “I got up and went back to my desk [to write], and that’s where ‘They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom’ comes from.”

Part of Movieguide®’s review reads:

In BRAVEHEART, William Wallace (Mel Gibson) leads his fellow Scots in a heroic struggle for freedom from England’s cruel 13th Century rule. As director, star and producer, Mel Gibson brilliantly weaves together tragic romance, unbounded heroism, magnificent cinematography, a cast of thousands, and explosive action into a modern epic which extols liberty, condemns injustice and acknowledges God’s will in every man’s life. Regrettably, the film has some excesses including graphic violence and some obscene displays, although it has no profanity.

 

BRAVEHEART would win five Academy Awards and launch Wallace’s career in the movie industry. He has since written hit movies like PEARL HARBOR, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK and HEAVEN IS FOR REAL and served as director on the latter two projects. 

He is still hard at work in Hollywood. In a 2023 interview, Wallace revealed he is working on a sequel to THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. 

“The latest thing I’m working on, and probably the most impactful, is that I’m working with Mel Gibson on the sequel to THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, about the resurrection,” he told The Baptist Paper. “Growing up in a Baptist church in Memphis, the resurrection has been the deepest mystery and the most meaningful part of the faith for me. This is a chance for us to explore that, to see where it’s going to go. It’s mysterious and incredibly exciting.”

Wallace and Gibson have been working on a sequel to PASSION OF THE CHRIST since 2016, when the screenwriter and director shared, “I always wanted to tell this story. THE PASSION is the beginning, and there’s a lot more story to tell… The evangelical community considers THE PASSION the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood, and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger.”

A portion of the Movieguide® review for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST reads:

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is a must-see movie, beautifully directed, powerfully acted, and with terrific sound. Filmed in Latin and Aramaic, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has a foreign sensibility. The violence and the glee of the Romans who were scourging Jesus highlight the demonic quality of the battle Jesus was fighting. Those who see it will understand, perhaps for the first time, the price that Jesus paid to forgive us our sins. This is real grace, not cheap grace.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.