Filmmaker asks whether hell is real, and who goes there
Now 41, Miller says he has no idea what happens to people after death. But as a child, he believed that some people were going to hell, and he feared that it could be him, or his parents, or his siblings.
“It’s a horrible place for a kid to be,” Miller said in an interview shortly after the recent release of his new film, “Hellbound?”
“That fear has percolated underneath my faith for my entire life.”
“Hellbound?” — which cost $350,000 to produce — is opening in more than 20 theaters across North America, and will continue to add venues in the coming months. Filming coincided with the 2011 release of evangelical pastor Rob Bell’s controversial book, “Love Wins,” which questions conventional views of hell and landed Bell on the cover of Time magazine.
Though Bell declined to appear in “Hellbound?” Miller said the book helped pave the way for a film. “All of a sudden it brought everybody out of the woodwork who had a dog in the fight. … It helped show what a lightning rod this is.”
The questions posed by “Hellbound?” — does hell exist and if so, who goes there? — are no longer so anxiety-producing for Miller, a Canadian writer and director who has worked on projects with both religious and nonreligious themes, and briefly played Superman villain Lex Luthor on the television show “Smallville.”
Miller’s faith journey has taken him through Mennonite and evangelical churches to his current Anglicanism, where he embraced a gentle view of hell before he made the film: universalism, which doesn’t consider hell a place of eternal torment and holds that all souls will be saved. [More]