Frequently Asked Questions about the Kingdom Series Movie/Series in development.


Kingdom Series Fans: When do you plan to shoot the movie?


Jess Stainbrook: We don’t know exactly when the movie will shoot yet. Not because we don’t want to shoot it ASAP! There is a process that you go through to create something like this. And we want to do the books justice, so we must think BIG for this type of film. Based on the time period (medieval times), let alone the locations and the characters involved, we know that to shoot one of these movies could easily cost upwards of $50 million. So with that in mind, it may take us a year or two to gather the necessary resources to be ready to shoot.  (Then we have to edit which can take as long a 8-12 months!)


KSF: Who will play the major roles?


JS: Who do you, as the fans, see in the major roles?!!!! I’d love to get your feedback! When I originally read the first few books, I kept picturing someone like Sean Connery as the King. Maybe that is because I really like him in these kinds of roles and think his presence is amazing, but I also do not want to presume what God may provide for us. And I have not spoken with Mr. Connery or his reps about any of this, so technically, we can’t even mention his name. So forget you ever heard that!


KSF: Where and when will the casting be?


JS: The casting will most likely take place in Los Angeles and New York, although we may take some headshots, resumes and demos via email when it's time.  As for when, well, that depends on how soon we can finish the script and get the funding in place.  We hope to have some of the major roles decided upon earlier, which should help us in the fund raising and plot of the movie.  I know there must be lots of "fans" hoping for a cameo role in this movie.  I can tell you this, we'll need LOTS of extras, so I'm sure we can fit you all in somewhere!


KSF: Would you ever consider using unknown actors for the major roles?


JS: I am actually getting quite a few emails that are asking this question... and it's an interesting one.  Let me give you an example of my thoughts on this topic through Chuck's books.  I love the part in the very beginning of Kingdom's Dawn where Leinad is in this heated sword fight.  You don't know until further reading that Leinad is practicing with his father.  It is very exciting and when they stop their training for that day, Leinad asks a very important yet telling and key question that will apply to his life.   "What does sword fighting have to do with farming?"   WOW - Great question!  His father's answer is "No matter what a man's occupation, he must be ready to fight for the King.  One never knows when he will be called upon to serve the King in battle."  


Hmmmm?  What incredible wisdom and insight!  I have a good friend that desperately wanted to succeed in a triathlon.  He went and failed miserably. Why?  Because he did not train properly. He thought he could just slide through on so-so work and really didn't put in the necessary time and effort to succeed in his dream.  


So my answer to the question of using unknown actors is "absolutely!" I would use an unknown actor.  Who knows who God may drop into this project to help tell the story?! However, from a professional standpoint, there is a big difference between an unknown actor and an unskilled and unproven one.  Would you let a guy who really wanted to be a plumber but only had read books on it fix your leaking toilet?  Doubtful!  So if you're interested in auditioning for a role in the movie, practice and learn your craft well enough to present your best when the time is right.  Break a leg!!!   

KSF: How will you pay for such a movie?


JS: This is a lot like buying a car. Do you want a Smart Car or a Bentley?!! They basically do the same thing, just in very different ways for a very different price!  Financing for movies like this usually come from a group of individuals or companies that are interested in being part of a project like this.  We need to create a company specifically to produce the movie(s). And that company will have the ability to invite investors to be part of this project, at least financially. It will take quite a bit to gather the kind of funding it will take to pull this off. Ideally, we would like to be able to fund all three movies and shoot them together, saving time, money and effort in the future. Then we could edit and release the films over time, very similar to what they did with Lord of the Rings. But of course, that means finding 3x the money up front!  


To get started, we'll really looking for a minimum of about $250-500k for the development phase, which really is writing the script, creating the storyboards and coming up with all the materials necessary, legal and marketing, to help build the foundation to "sell" the movie to potential investors.  


KSF: Where will you shoot the movie?


JS: We do not have any actual locations yet, but I know that in scouting areas for similar time period pieces, we do like the possibility of Scotland or New Zealand. Obviously, the budget and our production team will dictate a lot of our decisions. If it comes down to it, we could shoot this in Chuck's backyard, although that kinda defeats the "Big" thing we're trying to go for here!


KSF: Will you use CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) for the creatures, armies, etc?


JS: CGI would certainly be the way to go with that. If you look at any of the behind the scenes stuff for the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings, this is really the only way to feasibly include these types of things in the movie.   (I am thinking specifically of Leinad and Tess running from the Vactor!! Yikes!)  But of course, CGI is expensive. I am sure everyone has an image of the things in these books so I know there will be a lot of pressure to “get it right.” This is where I will rely a lot on Chuck’s interpretation of his own characters. Chuck will be intimately involved in creating just the right “Creature” looks!


KSF: What is the process for making a movie like this?


JS: Obviously the funding is a key element to get things going at the level we want to do this. We start in what we call “development,” reading the books over and over and getting a feel for the story. We’ll pick a screenwriter and have them start fleshing out the story for the screenplay. The screenplay or script is the written document that gives us all the dialogue, interaction between the actors and general directions for the filming. For example, the beginning of our screenplay may read like this:






Epic beauty: amazing sapphire mountains beneath spectacular purple and pink clouds reflecting the dusk approaching darkness. Flying over a cliff reveals the ocean, waves cascading around a large ship in the distance.



My life has been full of dreams and adventures.




The sound of waves against the wooden hull as we approach the sailing vessel, close enough to see CEDRIC OF CHESSINGTON, a 50-ish rugged man, on the fore deck, mist from the ship crashing through waves makes his face moist. He is deep in thought, as the world goes on around him. He is looking over the expanse and depth of the sea, a comparison to his life.



I am Cedric…Cedric of Chessington. 

And you and I are more alike than you think, 

as we are on a journey. 

Not this journey… on a ship. 

No. Rather, a journey in life...


It is much different than the books (although not much since Chuck's writing is so descriptive) as it tells you more about the shots and locations than it does about the characters feelings and thoughts. Our job is to create word pictures that convey Chuck’s amazing writing into shots that tell you the feelings and emotions of the characters along with their dialogue.


Concurrently, we're looking for people to be involved, from actors and actresses, to investors and production teams, distributors, etc, etc.  There are a lot of things that have to come together to make all of this happen!


KSF: Any other insights you can give us?


JS: Let's see? Well, as fans, you really know the series inside and out.  I've already received a bunch of emails with suggestions, all with great passion and excitement.  So I guess I'm feeling a bit of pressure to live up to everyone's expectations.  Although, I think if I can satisfy Chuck, I'm good with that. Most of all, I want to create something that truly honors our God and serves as a great outreach tool for you to take your friends to - a movie that will engage them and lead to awesome discussions, obviously, with the hope of introducing them to Christ via Leinad and his story.  So if there is a way I can see you all involved, my biggest request, even more than the funding, would be your prayers to create something for the "Audience of One."   I'm glad to answer any and all questions so feel free to send me your requests and we’ll keep adding to this forum.  As you guys like to say (and I agree!), "The King Reigns...And His Son!"