The Hollywood Reporter
Hard to believe just 20 years ago Nicolas Cage was a highly respected star of independent cinema. Now it looks like the former Best Actor Oscar winner will be accepting Kirk Cameron’s sloppy seconds.
At least he will be if negotiations work out for Cage to star in a reboot of the apocalyptic Christian Left Behind series.
It’s kind of comforting to know that in this age of unnecessary Hollywood reboots, even evangelical Christian cinema isn’t immune to resurrecting a franchise for the sake of the almighty dollar. Would they call it a reboot, or would they consider it Left Behind getting born again?
Either way, The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog broke the news that legendary Hollywood stuntman Vic Armstrong is negotiating to direct a $15 million big screen reboot of the mega-successful Left Behind book series that already spawned a less successful film series starring Kirk Cameron. Armstrong’s only other directing gigs have been two episodes of “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” and a 1993 direct-to-video Dolph Lundgren action flick entitled Army of One.
More importantly, Nic Cage, who has already spent many a film in recent years fighting off the forces of hell (Ghost Rider 1 & 2, Drive Angry, Season of the Witch), is currently making his own deal to star in what is intended to be the beginning of a whole new trilogy of Left Behind films.
For those in need of a refresher, Left Behind deals with all the non-saved heathens left behind after The Rapture occurs and all the good Christians spontaneously vanish as they enjoy the express ticket to the kingdom of heaven before tribulation begins on Earth at the hands of the Antichrist, AKA the Secretary General of the United Nations, scheming to take over the world.
Despite it seeming like his destiny to one day play the Antichrist on film, I’m assuming Cage is being courted to play someone left behind, someone who, if they’re anything like the similar character in the first film portrayed by Kirk Cameron, will have never even heard of The Rapture and would remain completely clueless if not for video tapes left behind by the already saved explaining it all to him.
While the End of Days, The Rapture, and Christian theology will be still be at the forefront of the new film, from the sounds of things the producers this time are looking to secularize the film just enough to appeal to lay audiences. According to THR, the story will be more in the mold of a classic disaster film. The plot unfolds during the first few hours after the Rapture and focuses on the survivors. I’m going to translate that as: We’re making a Left Behind film that doesn’t spend every other scene beating you over the head with religious dogma.
Assuming Armstrong and Cage both strike deals, the new Left Behind will begin shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sometime in the spring of next year.
Just thinking about how some of the events of this story will play out and with Nicolas Cage’s special brand of acting in the starring role, this could give us some hyper-acting the likes of which we haven’t seen from Cage since The Wicker Man.
On the other hand, am I the only one that thinks it would be somewhat redundant for Cage to star in Left Behind seeing as how he kind of made this movie already. Replace biblical prophecy with doomsday numerology, Christian deities with aliens, and the Antichrist with an apocalyptic solar flare, and you get Knowing.
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