Here’s the rest of the cast for the main characters in “Shackles.” Most of the characters from the jailer’s part of the story in Philippi are entirely fictional. Paul’s part of the story, based on the Book of Acts – in particular, Acts 16 – features real characters with whom I carefully took creative liberties.
If anyone has contact info for the director/production team of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, pass it along and let’s get this fantasy project turned into something for the silver screen. (As mentioned previously, I cast Mr. Hanks as Claudius for the Philippi story, but he’s welcome to switch with Christian Bale to play Barnabas if he’d like). Remember, this fantasy cast is based on a fantasy budget. I wanted to find spots for Johnny Depp and Will Smith, but even fantasy budgets have limits. I want to shell out the biggest fantasy bucks possible for the Howard-Hanks team.
And here’s another snippet from “Shackles,” which is now in the hands of 18 or so test readers. Tomorrow: we begin making “Shackles: The Playlist,” so start passing along your favorite Christian, sacred and secular songs that might fit this story.
CHAPTER 24 – Telling the world …
Barnabas wondered if Paul had recognized the two men.
“I’ve noticed that many tend to follow us from town to town,” Barnabas said. “But these two. They seem different. Not just curious. It’s hard to explain.”
Paul had a more exact impression.
“I know the tactics,” he said. “I’ve used them.”
Barnabas was puzzled. “Tactics?”
“Plant seeds of division and doubt, find a spark of disagreement or anger, and fan it into flames of hatred.”
“You mean they want to do us harm?”
“Have they approached either of us with questions about our teaching? About Jesus?”
Barnabas agreed. “They’ve had ample opportunity to introduce themselves.”
“Well,” Paul said, patting Barnabas on the shoulder. “Our God is sovereign and in control. Just as He worked when I went throughout Judea, Samaria and Syria planting seeds of doubt and division, looking for sparks of disagreement or anger, then fanning the flames of persecution.”
“So you’re saying they want to do us harm?”
“They’re being very patient,” Paul said. “I’ll even go so far as to say they have support from the high priests in Jerusalem. Very similar method of stirring trouble and hatred. And the cleverest part is they get others to actually get their hands dirty.”
“Bloody. They won’t need to pick up stones. They’ll get others to do it.”