VIDEO: Movie trailer for film ‘Breakthrough,’ scheduled for release at Easter 2019 [Dec. 5, 2018]
Movieguide® asked Joyce about the miracle that took place with her son, and she was quick to respond that the miracles haven’t stopped. “BREAKTHROUGH [The Movie] is a miracle,” Joyce said, “how it even happened. It just proves that God is who he says he is.” How the movie came about truly was unique. The movie’s producer, DeVon Franklin, whose credits include movies like HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN, THE STAR, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS recalled how miraculous the making of the movie has been. “Two years ago, I was promoting MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN,” DeVon said, “I was on a program on TBN, and as I’m there in the green room, there’s this mother, a pastor, and this latino kid. I didn’t know who they were.” The three people DeVon saw on the show was Joyce, her son John and their pastor Jason, who were simply sharing their story on a show that Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was hosting. DeVon continued, “Their segment was [before mine], so they went on and started telling their story, and I’m in the green room hearing their story, and I’m saying, “this is unbelievable!” So, when they came off, I said, “listen, I think I can help you tell your story. I think there’s a book here, and there’s a movie here, and if you would partner with me, I guarantee we’d get it done.” They agreed to work with DeVon.
This not-so-random encounter was only the beginning of the process though. Franklin said that turning their story into a book would be easy, but he wasn’t sure who the right person to write the script was, but God was working that out as well. Ten years prior, Franklin had worked with screenwriter Grant Nieporte on a movie called SEVEN POUNDS that starred Will Smith. DeVon explained, “I hadn’t talked to Grant in ten years.” Yet one day, while DeVon was worrying about who was going to write BREAKTHROUGH, Grant emails him out of the blue pitching a completely different project. Franklin knowing this is God at work convinced Grant to come out of screenwriting retirement to write the script of BREAKTHROUGH. Within a year they had a script, a director, and the movie was on the path to getting made. DeVon said, “Of all the movies I’ve ever done, this is fastest. From [the event] actually happening, to now we are here producing the movie.”
While the proof of the movie is always in the final product, the atmosphere on the set was noticeably different from other sets. The cast members were excited to talk about the movie and even their personal faith. The actual John and Joyce Smith were also there to talk about their experience, along with their pastor Jason Noble who spent 18 hours at the hospital with the family during the incident, and more in the days that followed. Everyone on set was excited about this story. Joyce Smith, who had just met the actress Chrissy Metz, who’d be playing her, said the experience of getting the movie made had been “phenomenal”. “They are great people” Joyce told Movieguide®, “The one thing I’ve noticed about them all [the cast and crew], they’re very humble. They’re people. They want to be liked, and they want to like you. That’s what we’ve experienced here.” Joyce’s son John agreed and stated the movie is, “going to show people that this isn’t fake. That this actually happened, and that God was behind all of this. Not just the story itself, but the actual movie.” John, who’s still in High School, shared that he now feels God is calling him to go into the ministry.
Pastor Jason Noble, who was a huge support for the family during their trial said that a scene he’s particularly excited about is near the end of the movie where a church service for the first responders is held. “I am very excited to see it” Pastor Jason said, “You feel the presence of God here on set, and I think it’s a sign of what God is going to do with the movie.”