DeVon Franklin Reveals the Secret to Successful Faith-Based Films

The president and CEO of his own production shingle, Franklin Entertainment, talks about why audiences are hungry for more content like 'Heaven Is for Real,' his upcoming Nativity film 'The Star' and how being a traveling preacher influences his work.

Friday night at sundown to Saturday night sundown, you're not going to be able to reach me," warns DeVon Franklin from his corner office on the 20th floor of Fox Plaza in Century City. The producer was brought up in Oakland, California, as a Seventh Day Adventist, and during his two decades in Hollywood — from interning for Will Smith in the late '90s while attending USC to being named a Columbia TriStar senior vp in 2012 to today as the head of his own six-person, Fox-based production shingle — he has never worked on the Sabbath. "When the grosses start coming up with the films, I won't be looking," he says. "But after sundown on Saturday, I'll turn back on my phone, and I get back into work."

Moonlighting as a traveling preacher and inspirational speaker, with a social media flock of nearly 700,000 Facebook followers and 625,000 on Instagram, Franklin, 39, has made a name for himself with faith-based projects like 2014's Heaven Is for Real and his 2016 follow-up, Miracles From Heaven, each of which recouped their low-eight-figure budgets several times over. After having literally written the book on being Christian in the movie business — this year's The Hollywood Commandments — he's now readying the Nov. 17 release of his latest film, The Star, an animated Nativity story starring Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and Mariah Carey.

On the TV side, his company's first development project is a reboot of Foxy Brown for Hulu that stars his wife, Meagan Good. Married since 2012, the couple lives in West Hollywood near the Melrose gym run by Kardashian trainer Don Matrix, where Franklin spends his free time.

Read more [From: Hollywood Reporter]