Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy - A film by Val Kilmer

Director's Notes

Why do you think Kilmer chose Twain and Eddy as the stars?

When we asked you, our Facebook fans and biggest supporters, if you had any guesses as to why we were working on a movie focusing on these two characters in particular, we got a lot of responses. Almost all of them were right. Here were some of our favorites:

  • Two souls reflecting one another
  • Because Twain and Eddy are the embodiment of “the American”. Their personalities and beliefs are a great contribution to history.
  • An American icon and a woman who dedicated her life to helping others. I think this story needs to be told if for no other reason then the next generation to know their story.
  • Twain saw a hope in Eddy, a faith that inspired him to want to know more. Maybe, just maybe the those who see this movie will be inspired to believe.
  • Because they were 2 of the most interesting people of their times. Both brilliant and utter complete opposites in nature.
  • One spiritualist mover and one soulful writer combined to show the American epitome of inspiration through awing admiration…people yearn to hear this story.
  • If you haven’t added to the conversation yet, what do you think is missing from this discussion? Why do you think Twain and Eddy were chosen to star opposite each other in this film?


15 Responses to “Why do you think Kilmer chose Twain and Eddy as the stars?”

  1. Chris says:

    The two are such great American characters who almost reflect each other. There is the link of Christian Science between them, which leads to comparisons. There has never been a film about either done in such a way. It is a story waiting and needing to be told. If it fascinates the writer (Val) then it will fascinate others too.

  2. Two people brought together by something they both car deeply about.

  3. Maybe Mark Twain saw that Mary Baker Eddy not only opened the door for a woman’s perspective to be valued,but helped us to find the strength to unlock the power within us all?

  4. Marce Fay says:

    Both pursuing an American dream if different aspects of publicated words and beliefs. Twain rides on the tracks, Eddy flows with the river.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Both famous American authors at the same time; both knew of each other and commented about the other off and on over a long period of time, sparking controversy in the press… There’s got to be a marvelous story in there somewhere! Fans of Mark Twain would surely be interested in any one that he made such a big fuss about. And fans of Mary Baker Eddy would surely be interested in understanding how she dealt with his comments about her. They had a unique relationship that deserves an exploration and investigation that can stand the test of time. As they were controversial in their day, so they will continue to be controversial in ours, until their true history is understood and acknowledged by the world.

  6. Chris says:

    I’m in the middle of reading a biography of Mark Twain. It has given me another reason why Val chose him. Some of the comments in the book could just as easily be describing Val. So, apart from opinions about Mary Baker Eddy, the part was just made for Val! Kindred spirit calling to kindred spirit.

  7. Bill says:

    If the question is why VAL might choose them… Val feels close to Eddy, probably because something she brought to light inspires him. As an actor/storyteller he feels close to Twain. Few know who Eddy is, few don’t know who Twain is. Val wants to make movies that will make a difference to a broad audience. He probably discovered their stranger-than-fiction relationship that played out on the public stage. The relationship was so interesting and full of possibilities (partly because Eddy and Twain are so interesting and full of possibilities) that the idea of a movie suggested itself, and he couldn’t say no.

  8. Annet Ummels-Majolee says:

    I think Val Kilmer choose these two inspiring people as he feels (in spirit) related (or alike) to them (forgive my english, it isn’t my native language).

  9. Deep within us all are hurtful questions about the worth of ourselves, our life and living. We yearn for answers. If we’re sick or in any distressful circumstance we inevitably feel loss, loss of worth in the eyes of a creator who would allow us pain.

    We love films because they reassure us of our worth. The camera is the ultimate lover, focusing and holding attention on another, remembering another, sharing the memory with others. It’s a lover of the individual and how the individual answers her questions, his questions of worth. Adventures say their worth is in conquering forces of evil. Romances say its devotion to another, and comedies are our shattered efforts for self-esteem which some amazing spirit within keeps plugging away at, a thing we find heroic, a proof of worth. (Think Chaplin and Cleusseau) It all comes down to worth.

    We love Mark Twain’s take on this. We love his sharp-shooting lens, his great heart exposing the vanities that would put down the worth of others to gain esteem. He had people rolling in the aisles. Monsters of fear were routed and blasted in one witty cannonade after another. You had to love him. He knew the golden rule, and was a practicing disciple.

    Yet MBE gets his goat. She bluntly states that worth, the worth of all, is a given reality, the ultimate reality, the reality of our oneness with God almighty. She says we have a right to protest pain, and a loving God will wrap us in Her arms and wake us from the nightmare.

    What rears its head at this point is the unbearable pain of a hope so pure it has to be disbelieved. It’s something Twain cannot accept — his own worth. He’s honest enough to see that the hypocricies he exposed were his own, but unable to see that exposing them put him on the side of angels. The human race is damned, and he’s one of ‘em.

    The value of this film is not that it’s about two fascinating historic characters, it’s in this heartbreaking conflict. Twain (like modern man), caught in the hell of his disbelievings, attacking a woman who would have (and probably did) loved the hell right out of him, a woman who would have us all embody the infinite love of God, sending the hell right out of the whole sorry world.

    Just my thoughts.

  10. On why Val might choose Eddy-Twain:
    Val Kilmer, the romantic at heart, in conflict with himself at times, who is on a spiritual quest to find the reason for his being and for finding his closness with God. The concept of why he as Mark Twain, or through Mark Twain’s eyes, was so taken with Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who emulated Love and forgivness. The one who was and is the ultimate woman of Val’s dreams, one who he could admire, respect, the one who inspires him, and the one so close to God, the one who he could actually love.
    The woman-Eddy who would love him completly and unconditionally, no matter what or who he is, Val Kilmer the man, not the actor, not the composer or the playright just Val in all his nakedness not hiding behind his characters.
    This is Val’s Love Story aka;love song (ty)
    He being Mark Twain who is at times his own worst enemy,
    who can’t express himself in other than his writings, AKA;Kilmer Acting, a man who won’t acknowledge that he can love unconditionally. Mark Twain who raises hell, who’s hard time showing love, leaves him in constant conflict with himself.
    Val is Twain is learning the truths others have come to know through his constant soul searching-Twain and spiritual connection-Eddy.
    Val feels them both and is learning from them at the same time.
    As Val Kilmer is an Actor, he had to play out his life on the public stage as Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy, right where Val didn’t want it to play out, acknowledged by his 6,000 acres of seclusion.
    The story Twain-Eddy is Val’s love story, the story he would like to play out in his own life.
    It’s Val’s journey to his spiritual self, to Life and Love. Twain-Eddy

  11. Amalia says:

    It is a marvelous idea the foundation as simple as “bringing people together”.

  12. Courtenay Rule says:

    Twain and Eddy were, respectively, probably the most famous American man and most famous American woman of their time. To this day, Twain is still a household name and a much-studied historical figure. Eddy isn’t (for most people). Bringing them together in a film and exploring the real-life connection they had will shed some more light on a side of Mark Twain that many people don’t know about (under all the ridiculing – sometimes hilarious, sometimes bitter – he was a deep spiritual thinker), and bring fresh attention to Eddy’s life, ideas and historical significance. It’s a brilliant film concept and Val looks set to bring it to life amazingly!

  13. Angela says:

    Just a quick typo notation, if it were me I would want someone to tell me so I could correct it. We refine our work to do the best job we can.
    You typed “Twain saw a hope in Eddy, a faith that inspired him to want to know more. Maybe, just maybe the those who see this movie will be inspired to believe.”

    but I think you just meant “…just maybe those who see this movie will be inspired to believe too.” You just have an extra “the” and I added the “too.” I just want people to see what you mean because it’s worth seeing. :)

  14. Doris Temme says:

    Mary Baker Eddy is the perfect Protagonist and Mark Twain is the perfect Antagonist. He is obsessed with Eddy’s belief system. He wrote so much about her that there is a wealth of information left behind to use.*

    I think it would be an injustice to Eddy’s life story if Twain were not included in such a grand way.*

    Val stated that it was a love story, but not romantically.*

    I think Twain did love Eddy. He was amazed and in awe of her. Her writings spoke to him and he knew her personality because of what she wrote. Eddy was all about love based on her writings and she wanted Twain to understand so that she wouldn’t be misquoted or misinterpreted. I do believe she cared about Twain as one human being to another and as each soul being God’s children.*

    Whenever Twain mentions quotes by Eddy, he is searching for his own answers. They are Teacher and Student (Val may have said that on whether his words or my words…I definitely believe it’s true.*

    I’m so looking forward to Val’s movie.*

  15. Hello:
    I think that you do have a good story, and maybe it will be a box office hit. It is a historical movie that may do well, and many historical movies have done well. You could have chosen a more modern story, or gone with a famous historical figure like Twain. You could have found a more obscure story, and may have found many other great stories. This sounds like an actors movie though, and you may find that historians will give you praise if done well. I think that you do have a tremendous story here as Twain was so famous, but life is filled with those around us that add so much to our own stories, and Twain was no exception. Leaving out those stories would be like trying to separate my story from my wives, and every story needs those personal interactions, or the story becomes a biography.
    I understand that there are schools of thought that Samuel Clemens could not separate himself from Mark Twain, but I wonder if he was not far to intelligent for that being a writer that is not to far from being an actor. Mark Twain was a pen name that he wrote under, and is much like a stage name for an actor, but no one can predict that their stage name might help to make them famous. History is filled full of of those who lost themselves in their characters, but it can descend into a crisis if the person starts to believe their own hype. I am not sure that Twain had those types of problems, but maybe he did that I do not know about, but I would not doubt that there may have been some blurring of the lines. Most people know exactly who they are, and they know when they are doing an acting job which a man of Twain’s intelligence should have known, but maybe I am wrong since real peoples lives are at times extremely complected especially with fame.

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