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On the Set of “The Case For Christ” | BTS Pictures #3

Mike has now filmed his final scene for “The Case For Christ” production. Brian Bird, the screenplay writer of “The Case For Christ”, went on Twitter last night and shared another On Set-picture of Mike from behind the scenes. “The Case For Christ” premieres Nationwide on April 7.

The Official Movie Poster for “The Case For Christ”!

Hey all! A couple weeks ago Pure Flix organized a poll on its Facebook-page for “God’s Not Dead”, where people were able to vote which Movie Poster they liked the most as the Official Poster for “The Case For Christ”. The poll was unfortunately deleted rather quickly (Although plently of people saw it and contributed). We brought the poll to Twitter as well, where followers and non-followers were able to get their voices heard. Here are the final result The Official Movie Poster for “The Case For Christ”:


Mike and his Courtney celebrates 14 years of Marriage!


Mike Vogel and his beautiful wife, Courtney, celebrates 14 years of marriage today on January 4! wishing them a wonderful day filled with love, and many more years of happiness together. Happy Wedding Anniversary!

Mike Vogel reveals the “Number one problem in this country right now”


COVINGTON, GA – The baseball cap atop actor Mike Vogel’s head didn’t hide the sideburns or mustache that alluded to another decade. Speaking to TheBlaze from the set of the upcoming “The Case for Christ” film just outside Atlanta, Vogel’s words, too, harkened back to a different time – one when people with opposite viewpoints were able to come together in conversation with more ease. “I think the number one problem in this country right now is that we can’t sit down and just have discourse”, Vogel said.


The 37-year-old just finished filming his first faith-based film, a period piece from the 1980s recounting the true story of a journalist and his wife who had decided to become a Christian. Vogel portrays Lee Strobel, the journalist who set out to prove to his wife that Jesus really isn’t the son of God, and said that he hopes the movie will be a conversation starter – especially because people’s ability to engage in discourse is decreasing.

“The fact that we can’t all sit down, pull the emotion out of something and say,“Hey listen, here’s where I’m at”, it’s become so emotional that we’ve got nowhere to go but down at that point”, Vogel told TheBlaze.

He added, “Politics, religion, I love talking about the subjects that you should avoid because I just go, “Why do I need to avoid them? For what? Why can’t we just sit down and have a conversation?“. Based on Strobel’s bestseller by the same name, Vogel said “The Case for Christ” has the ability to resonate with anyone despite one’s religious background.

“We’re all searching for truth, we’re all searching for something”, he said. “And that’s another thing that I don’t understand. Christians, Muslims, atheists, Jews – we’re all afraid to sit and talk about things because we’re afraid of having our truth challenged”.

He continued: “To me, I look at it and go, “ultimate truth is truth”. So when I sit down and talk with someone, one of three things is going to happen: They’re either going to challenge my faith, they’re going to bolster my faith, or it’s going to shatter my faith, at which point I’m going to have to start searching for something else.

We’re all coming from the same thing. What we should never be afraid of is to have discussions with people that are different from us, different thoughts, different beliefs, because if truth is ultimately truth, then what do you have to be afraid of? We’re all after the same things”.

“The Case for Christ” is set to debut in the spring of 2017.

Making a Case for Christ – In life and on the big screen


COVINGTON, GA – It’s a tale of both crime and love, faith and persistence. But it certainly isn’t your typical so-called Christian movie.

Tucked away in a studio less than an hour southeast of Atlanta, the production of “The Case For Christ” was just wrapping up filming when the couple portrayed in the film, Lee and Leslie Strobel, joined a handful of reporters in a modestly-sized theater and watched as clips of their lives flickered on the big screen.

It was an emotional experience for the couple as they relived parts of their past – a difficult past filled with arguments. In one scene, the two passionately fight as their young daughter, Allison, listens nearby – certainly a flashback Leslie Strobel isn’t proud of.

“I remember those times when we’d be arguing and she’s there, and it just brings back all that, how bad you feel putting a child through that,” Leslie Strobel told TheBlaze in an interview. “It’s wonderful that we’ve come out the other side, and it’s only a memory now”.

0506The making of the Strobels
It may only be a memory, but it’s a memory, along with hundreds of others, that has been written down and sold more than 10 million times as the popular apologetics book that bears the same namesake as the movie set to debut in the spring. A journalist for the Chicago Tribune, Lee Strobel investigated many cases – including police shooting coverups and crime.

And when his wife came home with the news that she had found religion, he added Christianity to the list of things he intended to investigate. An atheist, Lee Strobel’s next investigative endeavor was personal. He wanted to save his wife from what he was sure would inevitably and irrevocably change her. As he wrote in his bestseller:

“Leslie stunned me in the autumn of 1979 by announcing that she had become a Christian. I rolled my eyes and braced for the worst, feeling like the victim of a bait-and-switch scam. I had married one Leslie – the fun Leslie -, the carefree Leslie, the risk-taking Leslie – and now I feared she was going to turn into some sort of sexually repressed prude who would take our upwardly mobile lifestyle for all-night prayer vigils and volunteer work in grimy soup kitchens”. 

Leslie Strobel did, indeed, change. But instead of turning into a “prude,” Lee Strobel contended that he was “pleasantly surprised” to find that she made positive changes in her character, integrity and confidence. And her changes only propelled his search for answers about Christianity more.

The making of the movie
Adapting any story into a film presents challenges, but “The Case For Christ” certainly brought a slew of its own — including its Christian themes. Faith-based films can be a polarizing genre, especially for those who star in the movies. “The Case For Christ” director Jonathan Gunn told TheBlaze it is very difficult to find cast members, especially known actors, to star in faith-based films.

Gunn explained:

“For actors who are just looking for work who aren’t names or aren’t known, a lot of them will take work no matter what it is. Once you’re known, then you get to pick and choose more. But there aren’t a lot of upsides to doing a faith film if you aren’t a Christian because either you’re not interested in pushing an agenda forward that isn’t your own, or you’re concerned that you’re going to be labeled as someone doing films that notoriously are labeled as having lower standards of quality”.

Mike Vogel, who portrays Lee Strobel in the film and is known for his roles in “Cloverfield”, “The Help” and “Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants”, told TheBlaze that he was “Very trepidatious” about joining the “The Case For Christ” initially because he didn’t want to be involved in a “hit piece”,

“We wanted to make this a fair portrayal of what one man went through in coming to his ultimate decision of faith”, Vogel said. “But it takes faith, and this is something that Christian and non-Christian friend and I have common ground on, is that fighting over this stuff is pointless”. “It takes faith for me to believe what I believe, and it takes faith for you to believe what you believe”, he continued. “We’re all operating on a basis of faith, and that’s what I love about Lee’s story”.

And the audience of faith-based films can be a potential issue – both Christians and non-Christians.

As the Hollywood Reporter noted earlier this year, faith-based films rely on an audience from a specific geographical location, specifically the Bible Belt, the South, the Midwest and rural California. And Christian critics can present an issue too, the entertainment news organization reported. If a film takes too many creative liberties with a film, for example, it could draw the ire and protestations of Christians.

To address the potential pitfalls associated with faith-based films, Gunn stressed the need to make quality film, no matter what budget a movie has to work with.

“I think that that’s – the need for this genre to elevate the quality, elevate the standards so there isn’t a stigma attached to it”, Gunn said. “And even so, there are some who aren’t going to want to do it because if you’re not a Christian, you might not want to feel like you’re in a movie that’s got an agenda”.

“You can have a movie that explores issues of political issues or life philosophies that are not religion-based that can be beautifully told or can feel like it’s hitting you over the head”. he continued. “The same is true about faith films – there can be some that feel as if they’re forcing a message before the story, but there’s always a way to do them beautifully”.

So how does “The Case For Christ” avoid the downsides of a faith-based film? By staying true to its message, producing quality entertainment and not preaching to the choir — or theater, in this case. “One of the things I liked about this film is that a film that fits in the faith category doesn’t need to push an agenda”, Gunn said.

He said:

“I loved that it was a true story. I loved that it was a period piece. I found it a really compelling combinations of genres – a detective story, this investigative journey, but it was embedded in a love story. As a film that explores faith, I felt this was a really cool point of view. From a nonbeliever looking to discredit Christianity and yet even though his goal was to discredit it in order to save his wife, the movie itself, I felt and really wanted, had a very even-handed approach – let’s look at the facts, he’s a journalist who is all about finding truth through facts.

So if you can lay the facts before you and scrutinize the historical documentation, the eyewitness testimonies, the things that are known to be true, the best we can and weigh that. It’s a movie that doesn’t feel like it has an agenda so much as it is a pursuit of real truth. I appreciate that a lot. I thought it was an interesting and unexpected view to take”.

The making of the screenplay
Gunn will be the first to tell you – faith is a “challenging” genre for him. “As a storyteller, I always want story to come before message. And faith films generally put message before the story”, he said. But “The Case For Christ” is different, Gunn contended, as both the message and the story merged together. And part of what made the story and message merge together so well was due to the work of the film’s screenwriter, Brian Bird.

Bird, who was tasked with adapting the book into a film, recognized a challenge right away: Lee Strobel interviewed several leading theological scholars for his book — and those interviews are well documented in it. “The most challenging thing for me was how to be authentic to the apologetics in “The Case For Christ” and stay true to what literally those interviews represented in the book and translate that for the screen”, Bird told TheBlaze.

He added that it “was a long process” as he had to transform boring and dry interviews into fascinating and entertaining scenes for the big screen. So he got creative – or as he called it, he “shaped” some of the interviews into more escalating scenes.

“In screenwriting, you have to escalate scenes”, Bird said. “For me, it was all about shaping them and vetting them [with the real characters in the book] and getting their blessings on what I had done. They certainly weren’t speaking in dramatic fashion when they were doing their interview because it’s an interview”. Aside from shaping the drier parts of the book, Bird said he also had to ensure that he wasn’t making a “propaganda film”.

Bird said:

“Other people, God bless them, they make stories that are successful and that’s awesome, but I don’t want to pound people over the head with the gospel. I want to stir cravings that lead to great conversations between people – water cooler conversations – because the power of faith, the power of Christ, to me, is what happens between people around the water cooler or sitting together and sharing real flesh and blood friendship and bonding over a topic like that”.

Gunn, in agreeing with Bird, added that in order to avoid making a film that viewers might dismiss as “sappy or cheesy”, the writing of the story needs to be truthful and emotionally compelling along with performances that are “honest and raw” – a feat accomplished by Vogel and Erika Christensen, who plays Leslie.

The making of a conversation
Vogel’s desire for the movie is simple: he wants it to be a conversation starter. “I think we all have a lot more to talk about than we think we do, and that’s my hope for this film”, Vogel told TheBlaze. “I don’t want it to just be preaching to the choir. I want people to be able to watch it and say, “you know what, I may not agree with it, great, but it was a fair shake” because it was one man’s story and that you can’t take away”.

And that man’s story, Lee Strobel, a journalist-turned-pastor, is set to hit theaters nationwide in the Spring.

Mike Vogel and Lee Strobel joins the MovieGuide Podcast!

MovieGuide released an interview they had with Author Lee Strobel and Actor Mike Vogel yesterday, which was recorded earlier this fall. In this exclusive Podcast, Mike and Lee gives a look at life on set of “The Case For Christ”. Listen to it down below.

“The Case For Christ” on Social Networks!

We have great news for all you Vogelholics out in the world! An official Facebook Page for “The Case For Christ” was created the other day, to keep fans up to date with the latest happenings! And like that was not enough, an official Twitter and Instagram handle was created as well. Go give them a follow! :)


The Official Premiere Date for “The Case For Christ”

We are happy to announce that we finally have a Official premiere date for “The Case For Christ”. The movie will be released in theaters on April 7, 2017! – And this in more than 1200 theatres Nationwide.

Pure Flix Entertainment launches talks on “The Case For Christ”


Pure Flix/Quality Flix Entertainment has begun talks with international buyers on “The Case For Christ” from the producers of 2014 US box office breakout “God’s Not Dead”Vice-president of international sales Ron Gell screens the film on Monday (November 7). Based on Lee Strobel’s bestseller, it centres on an atheist reporter who sets out to prove Christianity is a cult. Pure Flix will distribute in the US in April 2017 in more than 1,200 theatres.

Jonathan M. Gunn directed “The Case For Christ” from a screenplay by Brian Bird. Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster, L. Scott Caldwell and Frankie Faison star. Pure Flix co-founders Michael Scott, David A.R. White and Elizabeth Travis are producing alongside Brittany Lefebvre and Karl Horstmann.


Gell is also screening “Hillsong: Let Hope Rise” today, both “Joseph & Mary” and “Apostle Peter: The Redemption” tomorrow, and “I’m Not Ashamed” on Sunday. “We are especially excited about presenting “The Case For Christ” to buyers at AFM because this is a compelling story with universal appeal and we’re going to be marketing it theatrically worldwide with a wide release in the US in early 2017”, said Gell.

Promotional Screening for “The Case For Christ” in November!


Feature film adaptation of Lee Strobel’s best selling book (10-15MM copies sold). When an atheist reporter for the Chicago tribune learns his wife has become born again, he sets out to prove Christianity is a cult by interviewing leading apologists, only to discover the truth for himself.


“The Case For Christ” will have its Promo Screening  at the American Film Market, located in Santa Monica, on November 7 (Monday), 11:00AM at Monica Film Center 1.

Mike Vogel (“Under The Dome”) Erika Christensen (“Traffic”) Faye Dunaway (“Supergirl”) L. Scott Caldwell (“The Fugitive”) Frankie Faison  (“The Silence Of The Lambs”) Robert Forster (“London Has Fallen”)



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