TULSA - A Tulsa doctor and businessman can scratch a big item off of his bucket list - acting in a top notch Hollywood film.
"Persecuted" will have a red carpet premiere in Tulsa July 14th, and opens nationwide four days later.
It's a taut political thriller with religious overtones.
The plot has the President of the United States, played by Dr. James Higgins of Tulsa, and the Senate Majority Leader, trying to pass a bill that would sharply curtail religious freedom of speech, supposedly to help guard the country from terrorism.
But a top Christian evangelist refuses to play ball, and they attempt to frame him for murder to remove his opposition.
The cast includes well-known actors, there's an original score, and already the film is getting a lot of notice in the Christian community.
Higgins tells KRMG that for him, it's primarily a political thriller, but there's no doubt at all that Daniel Lusko, the man behind the film, was inspired by his Christian beliefs to make a film about standing up for those beliefs despite all opposition.
In an interview with the Deseret News, Lusko said "There’s nothing wrong with the idea of a people who want all faiths to get along," Lusko said, "but the moment a government starts forcing that, or the way a religion can act, you’re forcing conscience and the human heart. Man ought to have the right to choose, and the moment the government starts dictating the conscience of man, we need to look at what’s happening."
Higgins said he's already becoming mildly famous thanks to his role as the President.
"I don't know if you've noticed, but the TV marketing started this week, just two weeks before it opens. Yesterday, people were calling me, all of my friends, they saw it on FOX, they saw it on ABC."
The film premieres at the Circle Cinema July 14th, with several of the stars -- including Fred Thompson and Gretchen Carlson -- in attendance.