Watch: New Leftovers trailer, plus vintage Rapture movies

HBO has released a second trailer for The Leftovers, the Rapture-themed series that premieres June 29.

The most striking thing about this trailer, to me at least, is the fact that it begins with people praying for the return of those who vanished a few years earlier.

I honestly can’t recall if I have ever seen that in a Rapture movie before. Most Rapture movies work from the premise that those who vanish have left this world for good — and the people who make those films tend to assume that all of the characters would share this belief. The possibility that the Christians and others who are “left behind” might not share this assumption simply doesn’t occur to them.

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Almighty dollars

Many of the books, films, music and TV shows that make up the parallel universe of the Christian entertainment industry are keyed to the idea of Judgment Day. Odd, writes Peter T. Chattaway — the Rapture is a modern concept with virtually no basis in the Bible

Until it was released in theatres in the United States three weeks ago, Left Behind — an apocalyptic thriller filmed in Ontario and based on a best-selling series of novels by evangelical authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins — was heavily promoted as the breakthrough film that Christian movie buffs had long been waiting for. The eight books in the series to date have sold over 30 million copies, and the film, which stars former teen idol Kirk Cameron as a TV journalist and Flight of the Intruder star Brad Johnson as an airline pilot, reportedly cost $17.4 million to make — though how much of that was spent on promoting the film, and not on the actual production, is a matter of some debate.

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