Nicholas Cage to Star in Left Behind Reboot

I had to make the time to post about this bit of news that several other blogs have already mentioned (including American Jesus, Slacktivist, John Byron and Joel Watts).

Nicholas Cage is interested in starring in a reboot of Left Behind.

Most people seem to be excited about the combination of Nicholas Cage and Left Behind. But what really gets me excited and my mind racing is the word reboot. That term has never meant simply a “remake,” but a invention that tries to update and improve on the original. That would be something to look forward to.

As Fred Clark’s ongoing series illustrates, the actual original Left Behind series is seriously flawed not only in the obvious sense that it does highly dubious things with the Bible, but also in the sense of being weak literature with unconvincing characters and plots.

If this were to be a genuine reboot – as in, for example, Tim La Haye sold away his rights to J. J. Abrams who could now do whatever he wanted with the story – what would you hope to see happen?

My first addition would be to get David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on board to be Mulder and Scully and imvestigate the strange disappearances.

I would also have the Antichrist be someone capable of reading the Bible and deciding not to do what it seems that Revelation predicts he must, in order to bring about a more favorable outcome for himself.

What would you change in a reboot of Left Behind, if you were one of the writers or producers?

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682420999 Jim Linville

    “weak literature with unconvincing characters and plots” do you mean Le Haye’s Reboot or the original Revelation?

    • http://www.rethinkingao.com Mike Beidler

      I’d say James meant LaHaye’s books, especially considering they have *nothing* to do with the book of Revelation, which exhibits profound literary symbolism and a sense of hope. Stuff the “Left Behind” series never had.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I don’t regard La Haye’s series as a reboot of Revelation. It is more a case of someone taking vague inspiration from a work that is in the public domain and doing what they want with it to such an extent that the alleged source of inspiration is not recognizable in the finished product.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

    This is a joke right? I know he is hard up for cash, but left behind was bottom of the barrel. Sharktapus vs. MegaGator would be a beter film to pick up.

  • http://drcheard.myopenid.com/ Chris Heard

    Does this mean that “Ghost Rider 3” will be delayed? Rats.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brettongarcia Bretton Garcia

    In my reboot version, fundamentalist Christians would discover they have actually been “left behind” by everyone else.

    • Kaz

      Ironically, since it’s the sinners who are to be carried away, and the righteous who are to inherit the earth, I suspect that fundies would ultimately be quite happy with that;-)

      • Beau Quilter

        Sinners are to be carried away? Hmmm, according to scripture, doesn’t that include, basically, everybody?

        • Kaz

          I was alluding specifically to the point made by Walsh and Middleton from my initial post, which relates to Matt. 24:36-41.

          • Beau Quilter

            Right, so according to this take on scripture, “it isn’t Christians who are taken away, but non-Christians”. Of course if you back up to verse 34, Jesus says:

            “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

            So, it must have already happened! Sometime around 2000 years ago!

            That’s odd. You would think history would have noticed if every non-christian had been whisked away in the first century.

            • Kaz

              That depends on what is referred to by “this generation”. In light of the context of Matt. 24, I take “this generation” to be a reference to the generation that was to behold the events spoken about, signaling the parousia and subsequent destruction that was compared to the events in Noah’s day.

              True, some would assert that Jesus was referring to the generation during which he spoke, and that either his eschatological language should be interpreted preteristically, or he was simply mistaken. However, whether that is the case or not has nothing to do with my comments in the context of this particular discussion. Remember, James asked, “What would you change in a reboot of Left Behind, if you were one of the writers or producers?” If I were a writer or producer, I would not change the futurist interpretation of Jesus’ eschatological language, nor would I make the movie about a Jesus who was simply mistaken.

              • Beau Quilter

                No problem, Kaz. It wasn’t my intention to argue your earlier points.

                It just seemed an opportune moment to bring up Matt 24:34. (Not to mention Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32, etc.) as another clear evidence that the “Left Behind” series has left logic behind.

                Preteristic interpretations are an apologetic stretch of imagination. The simpler explanation is that Jesus (like many a proclaimer of new eschatology before and since) was wrong.

                • Kaz

                  “Preteristic interpretations are an apologetic stretch of imagination.
                  The simpler explanation is that Jesus (like many a proclaimer of new
                  eschatology before and since) was wrong.”

                  I agree with you that preteristic interpretations seem problematic, but I don’t agree that Jesus was wrong. In any case, it’s hard to imagine a “Left Behind” movie based on the notion that Jesus was wrong attracting many viewers. Three or four atheists might show up on opening night, but I can’t imagine a much better turnout than that;-)

                  • Beau Quilter

                    Well, yes, that would make for a boring film. Although, it would be difficult to make Left Behind films more boring than they already are.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brettongarcia Bretton Garcia

        But? Is the “Rapture” idea right? The End Times involve many strange reversals; those who thought they were “first” often turn out to be “last” and so forth (cf. Paul Minear, “Day of the Lord,” Ox. Comp. to the Bible, 1993, p. 157). Note that in much of End Times tradition, it is the good who are to be “taken up” into the “clouds.” While then too, in Revelation 21.27-22.7, as read in the context of other passages, it almost seems as if there are still evil persons on earth; they are just kept outside the walls of any good earthly “kingdom.”
        Perhaps in the End, fundamentalists discover their own ideas are ridiculous; and having been intellectually left behind long ago, they find themselves on earth … but outside the kingdom, after all.

        • Kaz

          I’ll leave that between you and the fundies.

  • Kaz

    I haven’t seen any of the original movies, but how about a reboot that really turns the concept of rapture upside down, e.g. one based on the interpretation represented by Brian J. Walsh and J. Richard Middleton:

    “Look closely at what Jesus is saying here [i.e. Matt. 24:36-41]. The Son of man will come in a day just like the days of Noah. People didn’t believe Noah when he was building the ark. They just went along on their merry way, and they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. Who got taken away? The people who ignored Noah! So also when the Son of man comes, some will be taken away. Who? The same kind of people as in Noah’s day–the ones who ignore the gospel of salvation and persist in disobedience…In other words, a close look at the text reveals that it isn’t Christians who are taken away, but non-Christians. Rather than addressing the issue of the rapture of the saints, Jesus is here speaking of judgment on unbelievers.” (The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View), p. 104

    What do you think?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Yes, I agree, I think that makes better contextual sense than the typical “rapture of the saints” reading. Thanks for sharing that quote!

      • Kaz

        You’re most welcome! Walsh and Middleton reveal pretty clearly just how much our presuppositions can influence how we interpret things. While I knew this to an extent when I first stumbled upon the book, the point was still an eye opener; or, maybe I should say that it was a vision improver, as it made the point standout more clearly for me;-) Sometime later I stumbled upon the “Four Views” and “Three Views” series, which also helped reveal how presuppositions influence interpretation.

  • http://www.roscoeland.blogspot.com Ross

    It seems that Nicolas Cage is carving out a niche for himself by appearing in spiritually themed films, like City of Angels, National Treasure and its sequel, and Knowing. The Left Behind books are good for stimulating thinking about eschatology, but that’s pretty much it.

  • Necktomlee

    I think I would have a problem with this, this is a not-so-subtle Christian series that I would never touch. I’d rather choose Narnia over this, at least Narnia mixed Christianity with Mythology, Magic and Fairy tales.
    Left Behind series has cliches and stereotypes of:
    Madonna-Whore Complex (as in women are either seen as feminist sluts or submissive virgins). Gay people are either evil or ‘convert’, It contains Anti-Catholicism (they believe Catholics aren’t Christians) and Antisemitism (Jews either convert or worship Satan) and Islamophobia. There’s so much Black and White Morality, no Grayness.
    And most of all, the Jesus/God portrayed in the Left Behind series sounds like a Jerk. I’d pick Aslan over him anytime.

    • Jeff

      Since you’ve never touched it, how would you know about it? Second hand sources are pretty off 99% of the time, but in case I’m misunderstanding your comment: it states in the bible much more than once that homosexuality is a sin. I don’t care if you don’t like it or feel it isn’t relevant to the times, a fact is a fact so either you believe that part of the bible or choose to ignore it. I found the women in the book to be strong independent types rather than the weak behind the scenes that most books portray them as but I’m not going to delve much into that one. I also don’t believe Catholics are Christian, or I guess to be more clear, “true blooded Catholics” I grew up in a Catholic Church and I hit a point in my life where I felt like there was more to Christianity. Once I switched to Assembly of God churches I realized what it was. Catholics don’t promote bible reading and they do promote idol worshipping (last time I checked Mary and saint Peter weren’t god and Jesus who the bible says in the Ten Commandments thou shalt not have any other god before me, yet churches are called Mary queen of the universe) and I’ve never read in the bible that to be cleansed of your sins you must beg forgiveness from a man in a box and sing hymns and kneel and do the rosary. If anything I’ve seen Catholics turn more people off from Christianity then bring them in.

    • Jeff

      And as for the Jewish part, the bible says that there will be a choice for everyone to either accept the mark of the beast, become Christian and hide, hide in general, or die. That includes the Jewish which may be why you saw it as convert or Join satan. That’s honestly how Christianity in itself works if you really think about it. I really hate when the “new age” Christians feel that they can get into heaven by being a good person, I’ve even met gay Christians before and how they justify they’re Christianity I’ll never know because I felt it would be rude to ask. Just because your a good person doesn’t mean you’ll make it, the bible says so. Why it HAS to be like that I really couldn’t say but that’s life.

    • Jeff

      And as for the Jewish part, the bible says that there will be a choice for everyone to either accept the mark of the beast, become Christian and hide, hide in general, or die. That includes the Jewish which may be why you saw it as convert or Join satan. That’s honestly how Christianity in itself works if you really think about it. I really hate when the “new age” Christians feel that they can get into heaven by being a good person, I’ve even met gay Christians before and how they justify they’re Christianity I’ll never know because I felt it would be rude to ask. Just because your a good person doesn’t mean you’ll make it, the bible says so. Why it HAS to be like that I really couldn’t say but that’s life.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        I would encourage you to actually consult a commentary on Revelation, written by a scholar from whatever your denomination or tradition happens to be if you are concerned. You might discover that the Book of Revelation, as its contents indicate clearly, was about the ancient Roman empire and issues facing the original readers, not about some future leader, as many today claim in the interest of keeping people afraid and profitting from their fear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thatjeffcarter Jeff Carter

    Whoa! I just realized that I’m “Most People”…. funny.


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