Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

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The beginning of the end. Stoney Lake Entertainment has announced that its Left Behind reboot will be released on October 3rd. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Lea Thompson and Jordin Sparks. The movie is directed Vic Armstrong, the highly-regarded stunt coordinator whose work can be seen in such action films Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and War of the Worlds.

Left Behind follows Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) who is piloting a commercial airliner just hours after the Rapture when millions of people around the globe simply vanish. Thirty thousand feet over the Atlantic, Rayford is faced with a damaged plane, terrified passengers, and a desperate desire to get back to his family. On the ground, his daughter, Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) is among those left behind, forced to navigate a world of madness as she searches for her lost mother and brother. Shot mostly in and around Baton Rouge, LA., Left Behind is produced by Paul Lalonde and Michael Walker and co-written by Paul Lalonde and John Patus.

Lalonde, who is also the CEO of Stoney Lake Entertainment, says “We’re seeing a number of big, Biblical movies on the calendar this year, particularly Son of God, Noah, and Exodus. What makes Left Behind different is that it is a contemporary story that could actually happen at any moment. It’s also a historical account in a sense, because it’s based on a true story, it just hasn’t happened yet. So it’s very important to us that the core story not be changed.  We had offers from three of the major studios in Hollywood to distribute this movie, but none would allow final control of the story to be left in our hands.”

Nicolas Cage says “My greatest hope for this movie is that people will be entertained and thrilled by it, but also that they’ll go home and have conversations with their family, and ask ‘do you think this could happen, or couldn’t happen?’ and it’ll inspire discussion and closeness.”

Left Behind is based on the New York Times bestselling book series of the same name, co-authored by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. The Biblically-themed saga has sold over 65 million copies and has been published in 32 different languages.

Jenkins says “I believe it does justice to the novel and will renew interest in the entire series.” “It is the best movie I have ever seen on the Rapture,” adds LaHaye.

The music for the film was composed by Jack Lenz (The Passion of the Christ).

This is the second cinematic go-round for Left Behind. An earlier version was released in 2000 that starred Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Fireproof) led to two sequels.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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