John Huston read the novel in 1978 - he received a copy of it from Michael Fitzgerald, whose father was O'Connor's literary executor. Against all odds, Michael Fitzgerald got the money for the production, some $2,000,000; the screenplay was written by Michael and his brother, Benedict, and everyone worked for a minimum wage. Most of the film was shot in Macon, Georgia. "There were seven outstanding performances in Wise Blood. Only three of those seven actors have any reputation to speak of: Brad Dourif, Ned Beatty and Harry Dean Stanton. The other four are unknowns. They are all great stars, as far as I'm concerned. Nothing would make me happier than to see this picture gain popular acceptance and turn a profit. It would prove something. I'm not sure what... but something." ( John Huston in An Open Book, 1988)
Alas, the article didn't quote this character's full description of his new religion; he declared "I'm going to found the church of Christ without Christ, where the lame don't walk and the blind don't see and what's dead stays that way."