A new version of the motion picture “Left Behind” seeks to appeal to a broader audience than the original. But the producers at Stoney Lake Entertainment are counting on retaining the Christian audience that carried the first version.
While billed as “an apocalyptic action-thriller” starring Nicholas Cage, “Left Behind” focuses on the first few hours after the Rapture occurs. The website for the movie (www/leftbehindmovie.com) also offers a “ministry resources kit” that includes group Bible study content and sermon guides, along with a bonus DVD of the new documentary, “The Rapture: The Beginning of the End.”
A nationwide release is set for Friday, Oct. 3, and the movie will open that night at Golden Belt Cinema Six in Great Bend.
“Left Behind” is based on a portion of the first book in the best-selling series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and will feature the main characters from the book, including Rayford Steele, Cameron “Buck” Williams, Chloe Steele, and Hattie Durham. The entire film takes place on the day of the Rapture, focusing on the chaos in the world in the wake of millions of people vanishing with no explanation.
The Dove Foundation (www.dove.org) has rated this movie “faith friendly” and suitable for ages 12 and over.
Produced for $16 million, the new “Left Behind” includes new characters not found in the book or film. According to the website:
“Producers made the original ‘Left Behind’ films specifically for a Christian audience. But it has always been their intention to create a film based on the books that not only appeals to the core audience but has the potential to expand to a broader audience as well. It depicts the immediate aftermath of what the day of the Rapture might look like in realistic bold and graphic detail. The producers also wanted this film to be character driven to help the audience identify with how real people might react to this unthinkable event.”
Stoney Lake Entertainment intends to create a new franchise for the series, which runs to 16 books, but has not determined how many movies will be made.
The project has the approval of authors LaHaye and Jenkins, who gave the movie “a big thumbs up,” according to publicity materials. Jenkins provided useful notes to the script during pre-production and visited the set during principal photography.
“I believe it does justice to the novel and will renew interest in the entire series,” Jenkins said, why LaHaye reportedly said, “It is the best movie I have ever seen on the rapture.