When Wyck Godfrey and longtime friend Marty Bowen formed their own company—Temple Hill Productions—in January, they thought they'd take some time figuring out what movies they wanted to make.
But by the end of the month, they already had one on the table. And the studio, New Line Cinema, wanted it in a hurry—by this Christmas. Movies are rarely made that quickly; they wanted it in just ten months, even though it usually takes at least twice that long.
Getting this film into theaters by the beginning of December would take a miracle. But then, if the movie is about a miracle …
Lo and behold, The Nativity Story will be ready after all, opening in theaters worldwide on Dec. 1. And Godfrey, a devout Christian and movie business veteran, says he's seen God's fingerprints all over the production of this film—starting with the script by veteran Mike Rich, another Christian.
Godfrey, 38, who lives with his wife and three kids (ages 7, 6, 4), spoke with us about The Nativity Story, which tells the tale of Joseph and Mary for about 18 months up till Christ's birth and the flight into Egypt.
How did you end up with Mike Rich's script?
Wyck Godfrey: I've known Mike since he wrote Finding Forrester. And his agent at the time, Marty Bowen, is my business partner now. Some time ago, Marty told Mike, who had great success writing inspiration movies in the world of sports, that he ought to apply that same passion into something else that's equally important to him. Mike called him back a week later and mentioned his idea for The Nativity Story. Marty thought it was fantastic, and thought it would be a great thing to be our first project together.1