It's been nearly seven years since Donald Miller sat down to write the spiritually evocative and personally revealing Blue Like Jazz. Since it was published in 2003, the book's popularity has spread like wildfire, selling more than a million copies.
Now it's going to be a movie.
Miller has joined forces with Christian music icon-turned-movie director Steve Taylor and co-writer Ben Pearson to create a big-screen version of Blue Like Jazz. The three creatives recently completed the screenplay and will begin a six-week film shoot in mid-May on the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. With Taylor at the helm, the indie film has modest budget—by Hollywood standards.
Taylor, whose last movie project, The Second Chance, starring Michael W. Smith, was a hit with Christian audiences, hopes to release Blue Like Jazz in the first half of 2009.
CT Movies recently caught up with Taylor and Miller in the final pre-production days before shooting begins.
How did this idea come about?
Steve Taylor: A friend gave me the book at Christmas 2004, and then Don came to Nashville for a book reading in early 2005 and we met there. I loved the book. Particularly the confession booth scene was really moving. I thought, "I'm not sure what else this movie's going to be like, but I want to make a movie with that scene in it." I didn't know that you could make a movie about a Christian writer in his early 30s who lives off-campus and audits classes. I thought this needed to be about a 20-something-year-old who lives this experience, and Don was pretty much on board from the very beginning. He's very movie-savvy and didn't have any illusions that the book was an easy adaptation. He knew that it would take some work.
Donald Miller: I'd already been ...