In June 2011, an announcement was made that the book would be filmed as a made-for-television movie, scheduled for release during the 2011 Christmas season on ABC. However, the movie's television screening was moved up from Christmas weekend to Thanksgiving weekend, and aired on ABC Sunday November 27.
Martin Landau portrays Albert Lewis, and Laurence Fishburne plays Henry Covington. The film was produced by Hallmark Hall of Fame and directed by Jon Avnet with a screenplay by Mitch Albom. The film, also stars Bradley Whitford as Albom, began filming in Detroit in June 2011. Hank Azaria, who played Albom in the 1999 TV film Tuesdays with Morrie, was offered the chance to reprise the role, but had to reject the part due to filming conflicts with the sitcom Free Agents.
An advance "world premiere charity event" screening of the movie took place on November 16, 2011, at the Emagine Theatre complex in Royal Oak, Michigan. All ten theaters within the Emagine Multiplex Theater showed the film.
All proceeds from the screening went to the "A-Hole in the Roof Foundation" and the "Rabbi Albert Lewis Fund," and the screening was attended by director Jon Avnet and many of the film's stars, including Lawrence Fishburne, Martin Landau, Bradley Whitford, and Melinda McGraw.
Also, as the movie states, a year after Albom's book was first released, came Pastor Covington's unexpected death (12.21.2010). Albom, as stated at the end of the movie, delivered his eulogy.