Adam White hopes to "raise the bar" for LDS comedies with the release of his new movie, "Inspired Guns," which hits Utah theaters Jan. 24. The film depicts what might happen if two Mormon missionaries got caught up in a dangerous Mafia operation.
"Inspired Guns" is the story of Elder Fisher (played by David Lassetter), a veteran with one week left on his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his goofy new companion, Elder Johnson (Dashiell Wolf), who are accidentally mistaken for messengers from “The Boss.” As the elders unknowingly begin giving the missionary lessons to two dim-witted members of a notorious mafia family, chaos ensues in a wacky string of events.
White, who wrote and produced the film, had three advance screenings of the movie for audiences in Lehi, Orem and Layton this month. After each screening, White and other members of the cast and crew held short question-and-answer sessions with the audiences.
Regarding his inspiration for the film, White comically reflected on his own service as a missionary, telling the audience at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, “I just thought to myself, ‘It would be funny if we went to talk to somebody and interrupted some kind of big mafia hit or FBI thing.’
"The idea kind of just went from there after that," he said.
White wrote the original script for the film 10 years ago, basing it on tall tales and jokes written in a journal he kept while serving an LDS mission in Argentina.
When asked what would distinguish “Inspired Guns” from other Mormon movies, White said, “It was never about Mormon culture — it was more of a situational comedy. There have been a lot of LDS comedies that have been made in the past that kind of touch on the quirks of the religion, but this is more of a missionaries-meet-the-mafia and the funny situation that would cause.”
White, a first-time director, was able to utilize a large base of local talent. He said approximately 90 percent of his talent came from Utah, with others based in the Los Angeles area. A majority of the movie was filmed in Salt Lake City, with portions shot in Orem, Provo and New York City.
Making sure “Inspired Guns” was a clean, appropriate comedy was a priority for White.
“That’s the goal of this thing,” he said, “to really entertain and provide something good and clean for the family.”