- Cast: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Madeline Carroll, Kathy Baker, Joshua Drew, Inga R. Wilson, Justin Michael Brandt, Barbara Coven, Souleymane Sy Savane, Brett Wagner, Corey Large, Peter Carey, Judy Stepanian, Richard Goteri, Mandalynn Carlson, Misty Mills, Ray MacDonald, Jason Waugh, Elias Bahri, Peter Tocco, Gary L. Minix, Niki Haze, Ryann Campos
- Director: Marc Forster
- Writer: Jason Keller
- Producers: Robbie Brenner, Marc Forster, Deborah Giarrantana
- Co Producer: Douglas Saylor Jr.
- Executive Producers: Gerard Butler, Michael Corso, Kyle Dean Jackson
- Art Directions: Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson, Paul Richards
- Castings: Kerry Barden, Dori DePree, Paul Schnee
- Costume Design: Frank L. Fleming
- D.O.P.: Roberto Schaefer
- Editor: Matt Chesse
- Makeups: Talia Barak, Jeanette Moriarty
- Music: Asche & Spencer
- Production Design: Philip Messina
- Set Decorations: Jay Hart, Melinda Launspach
"Machine Gun Preacher" is the inspirational true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who undergoes an astonishing transformation and finds an unexpected calling as the savior of hundreds of kidnapped and orphaned children. Gerard Butler ("300") delivers a searing performance as Childers, the impassioned founder of the Angels of East Africa rescue organization in Golden Globe-nominated director Marc Forster's ("Monster's Ball," "Finding Neverland") moving story of violence and redemption.
When ex-biker-gang member Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region's vulnerable populace, especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it's most needed—in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens.
But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA's intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives—and eventually his own. The explosive, real-life tale of a man who has rescued over a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and enslavement.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Detroit, Michigan; South Africa
- MPAA Warning: Violent content including disturbing images, language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality
- Production Budget: $40 million
- Production Companies: Relativity Media, Virgin Produced, Safady Entertainment
- Production Schedule: 5 July 2010 - September 2010
2011 Guide Analysis: "Despite taking the freshly rejuvenated James Bond franchise and nearly destroying it with the very disappointing "Quantum of Solace", German-Swiss filmmaker Marc Forster still has a decent amount of good will left thanks to strong earlier efforts like "Monster's Ball," "Finding Neverland," "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Kite Runner".
Now, in his first film since that Bond outing, Forster returns to serious drama with this true story tale of a biker who became a humanitarian crusader for children in the Sudan. The story itself is fascinating, the born again Sam Childers and his group of freedom fighters have rescued over three hundred children from being forced into becoming members of the Lord's Resistance Army.
A character himself, Childers is not what you'd expect a missionary or a humanitarian crusader to be. This evangelical preacher came upon a torso that belong to a child who had stepped on a landmine. Since then he's been on his quest to not only protect these kids but to hunt down Joseph Kony, the head of the LRA.
Shot in July in Michigan and South Africa, which stood in for Pennsylvania and areas along the Sudan/Uganda border respectively, this'll be a potentially fascinating adaptation that one hopes will remain faithful to the truth, no matter how rough or zealous a light it might portray the gun-toting, bible carrying Childers in."