An addition to the Left Behind family.

Bad news, everyone. It looks like Nicolas Cage will not be playing the Antichrist in the upcoming Left Behind reboot. Instead, he will be playing Rayford Steele, the pilot with the absurdly masculine name who was played in the original trilogy by Brad Johnson.

The news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.com, which also reports that former High School Musical co-star Ashley Tisdale will be playing Steele’s daughter Chloe, who was played in the original trilogy by Janaya Stephens.

If the new film follows the template set by the novel and the previous movie trilogy, father and daughter will be the only members of the Steele family “left behind” after the Rapture takes away their wife/mother and son/brother; together with Cameron “Buck” Williams and the as-yet-uncast pastor Bruce Barnes, the remaining Steeles will undergo a spiritual change of heart and form a sort-of Christian resistance group known as the Tribulation Force.

How much actual “resistance” this group puts up varies from text to text; click here for Fred “Slacktivist” Clark’s look at how the film version of Tribulation Force, the second book in the series, improves on the book by having the characters actually do something for once.

It remains to be seen whether the new film or its sequels will stick closer to the book or — who knows? — make further improvements, such as they are, on the source material. In the meantime, I am now curious to know who will play the Antichrist in this reboot.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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