What possesses a screenwriter to tackle the huge issues of fate and free will in the context of a big-screen romance? “Naiveté?” George Nolfi, writer and director of The Adjustment Bureau, responds with a laugh. The film, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, opens Friday.

In an interview with Christianity Today, Nolfi says that “the questions of why are we here, what makes life meaningful, and how much can we choose our own course have interested me for as long as I can remember.” Raised in an Episcopal/Catholic family, Nolfi earned degrees in philosophy and political science at Princeton, Oxford, and UCLA. So when his producing partner brought him the Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team”—which deals with fate personified as a bureau of agents—and suggested Nolfi do it as a love story, “I took immediately to that idea.”

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