The Left Behind reboot lands another lead actor

The world survived the end of the Mayan calendar yesterday, so we can now turn our attention to other prophecies and predictions regarding the end of the age. One of the most prominent is the premillenial dispensationalism that lies behind the Left Behind franchise, and, right on cue, it was revealed today that the producers of those films — who are currently in the midst of re-booting the series — are talking to Chad Michael Murray about playing Cameron “Buck” Williams, a part that was played in the original trilogy by Kirk Cameron.

Most of Murray’s work has been in television, so I am unfamiliar with nearly all of it, though apparently he was in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday. I note, however, that this is not his first end-times movie; he was also in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001) as the teenaged younger brother of the Antichrist; Murray’s character eventually grows up to become the American president, as played by Michael Biehn, while the Antichrist, of course, grows up to be played by Michael York, who had starred in the earlier Omega Code (1999).

For what it’s worth, Murray himself is 31 years old now, while Cameron was 29 when the original Left Behind was shot.

Oh, and I forgot to note a couple months ago that Nicolas Cage, whose career seems to have hit the skids in the last few years, is in talks to star in the new film — though there is no word yet on who the almost-49-year-old actor would play. Rayford Steele, the pilot who loses his wife and son to the Rapture? Nicolae Carpathia, the Romanian politician who ends up ruling the world as the Antichrist? Time will tell.

I wrote quite a few articles about the original Left Behind films between 1999, when the first film was announced, and 2005, when the third film came out; some of those articles are listed in my end-times fiction article archive. I have re-posted one of them, a 2001 feature on the end times in evangelical pop culture that I wrote for the Vancouver Sun, here. I also talked to Kirk Cameron a bit about his experience making the films in a 2008 interview that I have re-posted here.

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