• Thomas Bonifield

C.S. Lewis' Journey from Atheist to Great Christian Writer Hits the Big Screen

Updated: Nov 3

A biopic about the Ireland-born British author releases in theaters for a special engagement.

Nicholas Ralph (center) plays the young C.S. Lewis in scene with Tom Glenister (left) as J.R.R. Tolkien and David Shields as Hugo Dyson from  the movie "The Most Reluctant Convert:  The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis"
Nicholas Ralph (center) plays the young C.S. Lewis in a scene with Tom Glenister (left) as J.R.R. Tolkien and David Shields as Hugo Dyson. Image: "The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis"/Fellowship for Performing Arts.

With tales of fiction like The Chronicles of Narnia series and The Screwtape Letters as well as numerous works of apologetics to his credit, C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis is widely considered the greatest Christian author of the 20th century. And his life story, while less familiar to the public, may well be as captivating as his literary endeavors.


The movie poster for "The Most Reluctant Convert:  The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis."
The movie poster for "The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis." Image: Fellowship for Performing Arts.

The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis aims to shine a spotlight on the man behind the books when it releases on Wednesday, November 3rd in a one-day showing in some 300 American theaters. Produced by a New York City-based Christian organization called Fellowship for Performing Arts, the film tracks the great author's journey from childhood - and a falling away from the Faith - through an adulthood spent championing Christianity.


Actor Max McClean, who is also founder of Fellowship for Performing Arts, plays the mature Lewis and narrates parts of the film. Nicholas Ralph, a South African actor known for PBS Masterpiece's All Creatures Great and Small, is Lewis as a young man and is flanked in many a scene by Tom Glenister, who portrays his good friend and fellow novelist J.R.R. Tolkien of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fame.


Though a faith-based film, McClean feels it will have broad appeal, saying in a publicity statement that the "story has a remarkable ability to engage audiences regardless of their religious belief," citing Lewis' "self-deprecating wit" in sharing "his own trying and painful experiences." Some of those include the death of his mother when he was still a boy, a tense relationship with his father, and the horrors of war, having been wounded and lost friends in World War I while serving in the British Army.


His, however, is ultimately an uplifting story of a man who grew strong in his Christian Faith and helped many, many others do the same through his prodigious and captivating writing. You can learn all the details by watching The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis, and this link to the film's website will allow you to purchase tickets at a theater in your area. In the meantime, check out the trailer below.