'Back to the Future' Star Claudia Wells Wins Lead Role in Controversial 'Canaan Land' Film
Contact: Brad Shapiro, 818-769-7627
HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 17, 2016 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Claudia Wells won the heart of Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future" as Huey Lewis crooned "The Power of Love." Today she snagged the lead role of Sister Sara Sunday, an evangelist with the power of God's love in the upcoming film "Canaan Land."
Filmmaker Richard Rossi is directing and tweeted the casting decision earlier today.
"Over 1,000 actresses auditioned for Sister Sara, both big names and unknowns," Rossi said. "It was a search for an actress with the intensity and charisma to embody a healer who struggles to heal herself. Claudia took the character to a new level, and beat out many fine candidates, and I believe her work will Oscar-worthy."
According to Wikipedia, pop princess Katy Perry and Transformers star Megan Fox were considered.
"Katy's parents are Pentecostal pastors," casting associate Linda Rivas said. "She grew up in this world, like Megan. They both would've been good. But Claudia's becoming closer to Christ recently paralleled the character in an unusual way."
"Sister Sara is a healer, and a really pure woman," Wells said. She's on her own personal journey like a lot of people who are just broken, and doing the best they can to love on people and follow God's will. And I get to be part of the actual creative process of this film with someone who's made a lot of successful films."
Rossi's film on evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson won Motion Picture Council Awards, and was Academy Award-considered. His recent biopic on baseball icon Roberto Clemente was praised by Pope Francis and catalyzed a campaign to consider Clemente's canonization as reported in the LA Times, Washington Post, Religion News, and Huffington Post.
Rossi, a former healing evangelist, is appealing for funding on GoFundMe with clips and additional perks for fans at www.gofundme.com/CanaanLand
"Looking back on my years as a healing evangelist, I never did anything fraudulent to fake healings," Rossi said. "I prayed wanting God to heal, and refused to report healings without verification. I was honest when people weren't healed and about the suffering we go through.
However, my time in that world allowed me to see tricks some big names do. They fake miracles. It's a film about a consummate charismatic con man played by me, meeting Sara, a true believer, and an agent of my character's redemption."