By Jacob Sahms
The Principle, a film about the center of the universe, has proven to be one of the most controversial films of the last two decades. Writer/Producer Rick DeLano believes that this film was the subject of a war aimed at keeping his thoughts on the Copernican Revolution quiet. To discuss the film and the conversation with it, Christian Cinema went straight to the source.
DeLano did not take long to get going, explaining that as an autodidact, he left school early and found the teachings of ancient scholars like Aristotle, Plato, and Aquinas to be formative. “I basically read my way into first the faith, and then the church. I became much more aware of the way that the church really thought before two hundred years ago, and it was fascinating,” he remembered.
So what drove DeLano to this subject specifically? Why did he pursue this? “Every Christian who ever lived, up until a few hundred years ago, was a geo-centrist. This tied into how they understood Scripture and God’s creation of the cosmos. How in the world was this overturned when five hundred years ago, we were all geo-centrist? That’s the most interesting detective story ever. How did we go from believing we were the center to the universe to thinking we didn’t matter?”
While The Principle is DeLano’s first film, he’d previously helped fund films, so he knew what to do. He rounded up the leading experts on the place of the Earth in the universe, whether they were mavericks, objectors, or leading experts. In his own words, he was looking to create a place for dissonance at the table to drive the theological conversation.
“We wanted as many well-thought viewpoints as possible,” DeLano continued. “Essentially, no one believes that the sun is the center. Is the Earth the center or is there no center? Why is that important? God considered it so important that he made [the creation of the Earth] in the very first verse in the very first chapter of the very first book. The Earth couldn’t possibly be going around the sun because the sun had not been created!”
“Either the church and the Bible had it wrong for 1800 years or else the scriptures had it right.”
DeLano certainly believes that bad publicity is better than no publicity, appreciating the way his film has stirred up controversy. In fact, he wears it as a badge of honor! “I am honored and privileged to have been the subject to the most over the top to destroy my film since The Passion of the Christ. The people who understand this are some of the most powerful people in the world. The church had lost its cohesion because of Copernican Revolution. There is incredible power in the ability to tell the creation story to a child, with the difference between sharing that God created the Earth in the center of the universe or telling them they evolved from pond scum.”
With bold, faith-influenced views, nothing will hold back DeLano’s desire to share The Principle with the world. He’s impetuous, determined, and eager to explore, still. “Ten years from now,” he concluded, “this will still be the film people watch to understand our place in the universe.”
The Principle is a collaboration of Executive Producer Robert Sungenis, Producer/Writer Rick DeLano, and Director Katheryn KTEE Thomas.