Exclusive: Randy LaHaye on playing the Antichrist, planning his own movie about the Resurrection, and rebooting the Rapture with Vanished | Left Behind: Next Generation


The end is near — again! But this time it has more of a young-adult sensibility.

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LaHaye hated the first Left Behind film, but loves the reboot

The Facebook page for the upcoming Left Behind reboot announced the other day that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, who co-wrote the original series of novels, recently saw a rough cut of the film and gave it “two enthusiastic thumbs up”.

A bit of background: LaHaye actually sued the makers of the original trilogy (which went straight-to-video between 2000 and 2005, though the first film also received a theatrical release in 2001), claiming that he had sold the film rights on the condition that the film be produced a major studio, with top-of-the-line stars, and released to theatres in late 1999 so as to capitalize on the Y2K craze.

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Multiple movies about the Resurrection still in development

Easter is on a lot of people’s minds right now — the Western churches celebrate it at the end of this month, while the Eastern churches, which are starting Lent next Monday, will celebrate Pascha, as we call it, on May 5 — so it’s not too surprising that the Hollywood Reporter posted a story last Friday noting that there at least four movies about the Resurrection of Jesus in the works. Two of them, however, have been in the works for so long that I actually blogged them years ago, and it’s open to question whether any of them will ever get made.

Take, for instance, The Resurrection, a project spearheaded by Left Behind co-author Tim LaHaye and written by Lionel Chetwynd, whose credits include Joseph (1995) and Moses (1995), two of the better movies in ‘The Bible Collection’.

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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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