David Oyelowo, Kate Mara to Star in 'Captive,' Story of Hostage Who Escaped by Reading 'Purpose Driven Life' to Captor

( [email protected] ) Mar 17, 2015 03:44 PM EDT
David Oyelowo and Kata Mara in Captive
Golden Globe winner David Oyelowo will star as kidnapper Brian Nichols and Kate Mara as the captive in the upcoming film, ''Captive.'' (WENN/WENN)

The amazing story of Ashley Smith Robinson, the former hostage who helped bring her captor to Christ through the ministry of Pastor Rick Warren's book, "The Purpose Driven Life," will be the subject of an upcoming film titled "Captive."

According to the film's press release, "Captive" stars David Oyelowo ("Selma") as kidnapper Brian Nichols, and Kate Mara (House of Cards, American Horror Story) as Ashley Smith.  The film, which was written by Brian Bird (Touched By An Angle) is a direct adaption of Smith's international bestseller, "Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero."

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

Ashley Smith Robinson - Brian Nicholas' Captive
Ashley Smith Robinson poses for a portrait at her home in North Augusta, S.C., Monday, March 9, 2015. Photo: Brandon Camp/SPECIAL

"Captive" producer Terry Botwick said, "Ashley's story captivated the nation on news outlets everywhere. Her story is thrilling and redemptive as God intersected the lives of two very broken people in the most dramatic way. It has been amazing getting to know Ashley and to be working with such fine actors. I'm so pleased to also be partnering with Paramount to bring this authentic encounter to a worldwide audience."

Added Oyelowo, "I was drawn to this story because it beautifully illustrates how a broken spirit can be healed by an unexpected source of hope. I feel blessed to be continuing my very fruitful relationship with Paramount."

Directed by veteran filmmaker Jerry Jameson, "Captive" is slated for release on September 18, 2015.

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."