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Greg Kinnear in Talks to Star in Sony's 'Heaven Is for Real' (Exclusive)

Greg Kinnear Headshot - P 2013
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Courtesy of CAA
Greg Kinnear

Randall Wallace is directing the adaptation of the best-selling Christian-themed tome that will be produced by Joe Roth and T.D. Jakes.

Greg Kinnear is in negotiations to star in Heaven Is for Real, Sony Pictures’ adaptation of the best-selling true-life book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent.

Joe Roth, coming off the $80 million opening of Oz the Great and Powerful, will produce with T.D. Jakes. Randall Wallace (Secretariat) is directing.

Burpo is the small-town pastor whose 4-year-old son purportedly died during surgery and went to heaven. The boy awoke with wild descriptions of where he had been, but neither the boy’s father nor friends and family believed him until he began to reveal details that he simply could not have known.

The inspirational book became a sensation when it was released in 2010, hitting the New York Times best-seller charts in within three weeks. By April 2012, more than a million copies has been sold. Sony picked up the rights in May 2011.

Subject to a closing a deal, Kinnear would play the boy’s father, the pastor.

The project is being overseen at Sony's TriStar division by DeVon Franklin.

Kinnear recently nabbed the lead in the highly sought-after Fox pilot Rake, which he also is executive producing. Sam Raimi, whose Oz the Great and Powerful has been No. 1 at the domestic box office the past two weekends, just came on board to direct it, making it one of the hottest TV projects in town. The pilot shoots at the end of the month, and should it go to series, the schedule would have to be worked out to allow for a Heaven shoot. Insiders say it won’t be a problem.

Kinnear, who also will shoot a bit for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, nabbed an Oscar nom for his supporting role in As Good as It Gets. Other credits include ReelzChannel's miniseries The Kennedys and the features I Don't Know How She Does It, Little Miss Sunshine and Auto Focus.

He is repped by CAA and Stone Meyer.