Lucado's 'Christmas Story' Movie Hits Theaters Christmas 2004

( [email protected] ) Jan 26, 2004 09:02 AM EST

The Christmas Child, a Christmas story based on Max Lucado's best selling book, The Christmas Child: A Story of Coming Home, is expected to be released late this year but although Impact productions recently wrapped up post-production of the movie, few details at this time are known regarding the release date, leaving many in anticipation.

"We are planning on releasing the film during the 2004 holiday season," said Merle Bellot, Executive Assistant of Impact Production. "At this time, I am not able to provide you with specific details concerning where and when the film will be released.

"I can't wait to see it," said Jamie McCoy, who was an extra in a cafe scene. "I was a customer in the cafe ... with Esther Gee and Kirsten Clark. Kirsten was also a waitress too."

It may seem natural that McCoy wants to watch the movie since she plays a part in the movie as an extra but there can be other reasons. The excerpt describing the plot of the book draws the reader's curiosity by setting up a mysterious introduction: "A Chicago journalist finds himself in a small Texas town on Christmas eve. Lonely and alone, he encounters old faces and new facts…a hand carved manger, a father’s guilt, a young girl’s faith. The trip into the past holds his key to the future, and a scarlet cross shows him the way home."

The movie was filmed in Okmulgee, OK, giving many of the locals to take part in the movie as extras. Over 300 extras were hired to support the scenes which took place at 69 locations and included 34 speaking parts. Among the characters, music artist Steven Curtis Chapman plays the role of the town's minister. Originally, the book only had 4 main characters while the story was limited to three different settings.

Many of the extras were hoping that the movie would make it on the screen in time for Christmas 2003 but according to the production company of the film, there are still steps to take before the movie can be distributed to theaters.

"On Christmas Child, no news yet," said Greg Kitinger of Impact Productions. "We did not secure a distributor, obviously, for this year; but we are now in negotiations with a couple of different companies to look at what the distribution campaign will be for this year ...obviously toward the holidays since it is a Christmas movie."

But for those who can't wait about 10 months until the next holiday season can purchase Lucado's book in national bookstores now. The book was originally titled The Christmas Cross before modifications were made to the book, including additions of imagery from scenes in the film and a new design for the book.

"The book with images from the film has been released and is available in bookstores now," said Bellot.