The Christian Behind 'X-Men'
Producer Ralph Winter on the spiritual messages in the blockbuster trilogy--and life as a person of faith in Hollywood
By Kris Rasmussen
LOS ANGELES, CA, May 27, 2006 ( www.beliefnet.com ) - Producer Ralph Winter may have one of the most unusual resumes of any filmmaker in Hollywood. A history major at Berkeley, he shunned film school, and instead worked his way up through the studio ranks in various production jobs.
As a producer over the past decade, Winter's credits range from successful big-budget action pictures--such as "The Planet of the Apes," "The Fantastic Four," and the "X-Men" trilogy--to smaller, overtly Christian movies, such as "Left Behind" and "The Visitation."
Even more unusual by Hollywood standards is that Winter is equally comfortable giving instructions on a movie set as he is speaking to Christians at a prayer breakfast. When not working on location, Winter routinely teaches at Christian conferences and is involved with more than one ministry dedicated to furthering the communication between Hollywood and the religious community.
Winter's latest project is "X-Men 3: The Last Stand," the final installment in the blockbuster trilogy. In it, mutant hero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and his comrades discover a cure that could eliminate all genetic mutations--leaving them to choose whether to rid themselves of the traits that make them at once unique and shunned by society.
Shortly before leaving for the Cannes Film Festival to premiere "The Last Stand," Winter talked with Beliefnet about the power of storytelling in communicating truth and how the dialogue between the church community and Hollywood is continuing to evolve.