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'Captive' Movie Endorsed By Rick Warren: Woman Held Hostage Turned Captor to Redemption With 'The Purporse Drive Life'

( [email protected] ) Jul 10, 2015 04:13 PM EDT
Saddleback Community Church pastor Rick Warren has endorsed "Captive," an upcoming film featuring the true-to-life story of meth addict Ashley (Smith) Robinson who was held captive by Brian Nichols, and how both their lives were changed because of Warren's bestselling book "The Purpose Driven Life."
David Oyelowo plays escaped convict Brian Nichols in the new movie "Captive." captivethemovie.com

Saddleback Community Church pastor Rick Warren has endorsed "Captive," an upcoming film featuring the true-to-life story of meth addict Ashley (Smith) Robinson who was held captive by Brian Nichols, and how both their lives were changed because of Warren's bestselling book "The Purpose Driven Life."

"The most compelling movies are the true stories that make you want to stand up and cheer," Warren said in a recent press release. "'Captive' will captivate you with the awesome power of the second chance."

The film, which stars stars David Oyelowo (Selma) and Kate Mara (American Horror Story, House of Cards) and is directed by veteran filmmaker Jerry Jameson, will hit theaters on Sept. 18, 2015. It is based on the novel written by Smith herself entitled "Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero."

In March 2005, Smith's story made headlines after it was revealed that Nichols had escaped an Atlanta courthouse and, after murdering four people, including a judge, forced his way into Smith's home and held her hostage for seven hours.

Smith, at the time a single mother and recovering drug addict, diffused the situation by reading Pastor Warren's book aloud to Nichols, and the wanted murderer eventually surrendered to police.

"'The Purpose Driven Life' is so vital to the storyline of 'Captive' that it is somewhat of a third main character, just as important to the film as Smith and Nichols' roles," said "Captive" producer Terry Botwick.

In a behind-the-scenes feature released on the film's website, Oyelowo revealed how the miraculous story deepened his own Christian faith.

"My faith as a Christian, it's the cornerstone of my life, and 'Captive' is a universal story, to me, of power of a modern-day miracle ... I think this film shows two broken people who unexpectedly - for them - find light in the darkest of places," the actor said. "This unexpected episode brought about Ashley's literal 'come to Jesus' moment. That to me is the power of the story, how the light can truly infiltrate darkness in an unexpected way."

Today, Nichols is serving multiple life sentences without parole, and Smith, now married, works as an inspirational speaker.

"At that time in my life, it was really down in the dumps and that was really a life-changing experience for me because truly, of all the people that had a role in that day, of all the people that could have lost their lives, I was the one that probably should have," Smith told Oprah in 2013. "And instead of me losing my life -- here I was the lonely, widowed, drug-addict mom who deserved death -- but God gave me a brand new life, one that I could never, ever imagine, as a result of just giving my life to Him. And through that, I've tried to do better since then."

In addition to Oyelowo and Mara, "Captive" also stars Leonor Varela, Jessica Oyelowo, with Mimi Rogers and Michael K. Williams. You can watch the trailer for the film here.