Trump’s pres­i­dency was part of God’s plan, new movie sug­gests

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Local - BY JARED GIL­MOUR [email protected]

“The Trump Prophecy,” a movie that fol­lows a re­tired Flor­ida fire­fighter as God tells him in 2011 that Trump will be pres­i­dent, is mak­ing its big screen de­but across the United States this week.

Lib­erty Univer­sity and ReelWorks Stu­dios in Char­lotte, North Carolina, pro­duced the film, and it’s play­ing in about 1,200 the­aters coun­try­wide, ac­cord­ing to a Lib­erty Univer­sity news re­lease. A trailer for the film says it’s “based on an in­cred­i­ble true story.”

The first show­ing of the film was on Oct. 2. Movie­go­ers can find a theater near them on the film’s web­site.

Pro­ducer Rick Eldridge of ReelWorks said the movie’s re­cep­tion has sur­passed his ex­pec­ta­tions. There were 18,000 tick­ets sold in pre-sales, Eldridge said Wed­nes­day.

“We had quite a few screen­ings across the coun­try that were sold out,” Eldridge said. “Most of our the­aters are full.”

Filmed in Vir­ginia, the movie is based on a book that tells the story of Mark Tay­lor, a real-life re­tired fire­fighter in Flor­ida who said he was up late and strug­gling to sleep in April 2011 when he turned on C-SPAN and saw Don­ald Trump.

That’s when Tay­lor had a pre­mo­ni­tion, he said.

“You are hear­ing the voice of the next pres­i­dent,” God told him.

The movie’s pro­duc­ers de­scribe the film as “an in­spi­ra­tional mes­sage” that high­lights “the vast beauty and great­ness” of the coun­try, as well as “its elec­toral process.”

But the project stirred up con­tro­versy at Lib­erty Univer­sity, the Chris­tian school in Vir­ginia that pro­duced the film and in­cluded stu­dents in the film-mak­ing process. There was a pe­ti­tion that called for the movie to be can­celed.

“We should be very wary of mod­ern-day prophets,” said the pe­ti­tion, which gar­nered more than 2,000 sig­na­tures. “Mark Tay­lor has claimed God told him that elect­ing Trump will save the world, which is un­bib­li­cal at best and hereti­cal at worst.”

Film­mak­ers of “The Trump Prophecy” pushed back.

“The re­al­ity is, any­thing re­lated to Trump is kind of con­tro­ver­sial,” said Stephan Schultze, the movie’s di­rec­tor, ac­cord­ing to the Lib­erty Cham­pion, the school’s news­pa­per. “I don’t think our stu­dents re­ally had an is­sue — they were gungho and ex­cited to make a fea­ture film.”

Tay­lor’s book about God speak­ing to him and fore­telling Trump’s elec­toral vic­tory in­cludes con­tro­ver­sial pro­nounce­ments that were ex­cluded from the film — in­clud­ing pre­dic­tions that Trump will re­veal can­cer and Alzheimer’s cures pre­vi­ously hid­den by drug­mak­ers, and that for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama will face trea­son charges, Fox News re­ported.

The film­mak­ers said in June that Face­book was block­ing ads for the project on the grounds the movie is “po­lit­i­cal.”

“We’re not do­ing po­lit­i­cal ads, but that’s what we’re be­ing ac­cused [of],” Eldridge said at the time, ac­cord­ing to Fox.

Lib­erty Univer­sity said the project gave dozens of stu­dents at the school a chance to work with a pro­fes­sional film crew be­fore grad­u­at­ing.

“There is no bet­ter learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in cinema than ac­tu­ally do­ing the craft of cre­at­ing it,” Schultze, the movie’s di­rec­tor and the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the school’s cin­e­matic arts pro­gram, said in a state­ment. “It was an amaz­ing gift that Rick Eldridge pro­vided to our stu­dents.”

Eldridge said based on Tues­day’s re­sponse, the film­mak­ers may con­sider en­core show­ings.

“Many peo­ple stayed around and held hands and prayed,” Eldridge said. “No­body prompted them to do that, but they did.”

‘‘ THE RE­AL­ITY IS, ANY­THING RE­LATED TO TRUMP IS KIND OF CON­TRO­VER­SIAL. I DON’T THINK OUR STU­DENTS RE­ALLY HAD AN IS­SUE — THEY WERE GUNG-HO AND EX­CITED TO MAKE A FEA­TURE FILM. Stephan Schultze, di­rec­tor of “The Trump Prophecy”

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