Greg Kinnear was always director Randall Wallace's first choice to portray Todd Burpo in Heaven Is for Real, adapted from the Nebraska pastor's best-selling book. ''I wrote a long, impassioned letter to the studio and [producer] Joe Roth about how I believed that Greg was the perfect blend of strength and charisma and sensitivity,'' he said. Eventually they complied with his choice, and Wallace (We Were Soldiers, Secretariat) couldn't have been more pleased. ''When he was in scenes with that 5-year-old boy all of that magic came out.'' Connor Corum was selected after an extensive national search to play Colton Burpo, the child who insisted he had visited heaven. ''I saw his audition and he was so natural and unaffected that I just thought we had to see him anyway to get a glimpse of what we were trying to find. Once he started speaking there was no doubt we had to find some way to make it work because he was the one,'' said Wallace.