Tim LaHaye pans script for ‘Left Behind’ reboot

The Christian Post interviewed Tim LaHaye about the new Left Behind movie.

The new film will have a bigger budget than the earlier adaptation of LaHaye’s best-selling “Bible prophecy” novel. It will also feature Nicolas Cage as Rayford Steele. Steele is the protagonist who serves in the book as LaHaye’s wish-fulfillment surrogate, but LaHaye doesn’t seem to appreciate the awesomeness of having Nic Cage playing him. The conservative activist isn’t involved with this new movie and, therefore, he already doesn’t like it:

LaHaye, who took Cloud Ten Pictures to court several years ago over rights issues over the series, said he had read the script, written by Lalonde and John Patus, and indicated that he was not a fan.

“It’s probably the worst script I’ve ever read,” LaHaye told CP. “And I’ve read scores of them.”

“The plot line is nothing like the book. The only thing they retain are the names of the people, and maybe places,” LaHaye added.

“There is no redemptive value to this movie,” he continued, while acknowledging that “it’s got a lot of intrigue.”

Lalonde and Patus co-wrote the screenplay for “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force,” and Patus served as a consultant for its follow-up, ” Left Behind: World at War.” Lalonde also co-wrote the surprisingly successful initial “Left Behind” movie, which grossed $4.2 million in its theatrical release and became 2001′s most successful independent movie through its video release.

Nonetheless, LaHaye and Jenkins, whose books have sold more than 65 million copies, called the productions glorified “church basement movies.”

LaHaye, explaining why he felt the need to take Cloud Ten to court in a case that lasted nine years, said he was disappointed that 2001′s “Left Behind” starring Kirk Cameron didn’t get the initial theatrical production he said the contract had called for and he had dreamed about.

The Christian minister and author, who said he’s not really sure how much money Cloud Ten actually put into making the 2001 film, knows well that “part of the problem with Christian movies, is that it’s always been a money factor, to raise enough money to do a quality production.”

… Although LaHaye didn’t see his dreams realized the first time around and doesn’t have a hand in its remake, “Left Behind” seems to finally be headed for the theatrical treatment he had initially hoped for, just not in line with his exact vision. But he’s still dreaming.

In his brief interview with CP, the author tested a “dream” title.

“How about ‘Nicolae: Rise of the Antichrist,’” the 86-year-old minister offered, referencing the third title in the end times series.

“Some day I’d like to do that, but not now,” LaHaye explained. He’s currently working to help raise funds for another film, “The Resurrection of the Christ,” said to be a sequel to Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ.

So far, we’ve got Nicolas Cage and we’ve got Tim LaHaye whining that the script is “nothing like the book.” I’m almost starting to want to see this movie.

  • Ben English

    I’m imagining his reaction:

    Tim LaHaye: What the hell is this? Rayford and Buck being all compassionate to the unsaved masses? Chloe being sarcastic and assertive? This script is terrible!

  • schismtracer

    I never thought I say anything resembling this, but I get the impression that LaHaye and Alan Moore have something in common here.  They both seem to hate adaptations of their work simply on the grounds that they’re adaptations of their work. 

  • AnonymousSam

    To be fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in common with the Longoliers than Left Behind.

  • reynard61

    “There is no redemptive value to this movie,” (LaHaye) continued, while acknowledging that “it’s got a lot of intrigue.”

    Well, then, that already (maybe) puts this movie one up on the books because, as far as I can tell, the books have neither “redemptive value” (whatever the hell *that’s* supposed to mean) *nor* intrigue.

    (Who wants to bet that this goes direct-to-video — or even to the “church basement” circuit — along with it’s earlier iterations?)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    LaHaye, explaining why he felt the need to take Cloud Ten to court in a
    case that lasted nine years, said he was disappointed that 2001′s “Left
    Behind” starring Kirk Cameron didn’t get the initial theatrical
    production he said the contract had called for and he had dreamed about.

    So basically, LaHaye threw a shitfit over the original adaptation, and has managed to achieve exactly the opposite of what he wanted out of the lawsuit.

    I do believe that is the definition of “pwned”. :D

  • Keulan

    This makes me want to see this movie when it comes out. Considering how awful the books are, I hope Time LaHaye is right and the plot really is nothing like the book.

  • Matri

    To be fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in common with the Longoliers than Left Behind.

    So, in other words: it’s miles better than anything L&J have ever, will ever, or can ever write?
    To be
    fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with
    the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from
    the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in
    common with the Longoliers than Left Behind. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.ZOdwf6Sp.dpuf
    To be
    fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with
    the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from
    the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in
    common with the Longoliers than Left Behind. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.ZOdwf6Sp.dpuf
    To be
    fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with
    the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from
    the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in
    common with the Longoliers than Left Behind. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.ZOdwf6Sp.dpuf
    To be
    fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with
    the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from
    the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in
    common with the Longoliers than Left Behind. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.ZOdwf6Sp.dpuf
    To be
    fair, from what was posted earlier, it really has little in common with
    the book. Apparently the plot greatly expands the Rapture itself from
    the isolation of the plane, turning the movie into one having more in
    common with the Longoliers than Left Behind. – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.ZOdwf6Sp.dpuf<

  • Matri

    Gah. Stupid Disqus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Well, it can hardly be anything like his book, being that it only focuses on the first few hours post-rapture*.

    Still, that does bode well.  Focusing on the first few hours will give an immediacy to the movie.  Focusing on getting father and daughter together will give a goal.  There’ll be things to do above and beyond, you know, exist savedly.

    *Thank you Anursa for bringing that info.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The funny thing is, LB (the first movie) actually had a limited theater release before going to DVD and churches. So LaHaye has probably raked in some $$ already from the sales of said movie  and is just being a greedy-guts at this point.

  • Belledame

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Of  *course* it has Nick Cage in it!! Of COURSE.  

  • Belledame

    SCRREEEEEE WAIT A MINUTE

    “Some day I’d like to do that, but not now,” LaHaye explained. He’s currently working to help raise funds for another film, “The Resurrection of the Christ,” said to be a sequel to Mel Gibson’s 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ.

    Not an Onion article.  I had to check twice.  Ermegherrrrrrrrrd
     

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Wait, LaHaye wants to make a sequel? To a movie that, IIRC, ends with Christ, well, being not on the Earth anymore?

    Felicity Smoak is unimpressed with LaHaye’s bullshit

  • tatortotcassie

    “The plot line is nothing like the book. The only thing they retain are the names of the people, and maybe places,” LaHaye added

    Hurray!!!  :D  This movie now has a slim chance of not sucking!  . . . as badly as the books did, at least.   And what’s LaHaye so bent out of shape about, anyway?  It’s not like he actually sat down and created the characters or plotted out storylines — Jerry Jenkins did.  (Well, Jenkins put the words on the page; I don’t know that he did any real “plotting” because to me “plotting” means thinking through what you want to happen and making changes as needed.  But you know what I mean.)   If anyone has the right to be annoyed with changes, it’s Jenkins, not LaHaye.   And given that the changes likely improve the story, I doubt Jenkins has much of a right to complain either. 

    “How about ‘Nicolae: Rise of the Antichrist,’” the 86-year-old minister offered, referencing the third title in the end times series

    How about “No.”  The LB series is hackneyed and cliched enough as it is without adding the Hollywood trend of putting the words “rise of” in the titles of sequel movies.  And, if memory serves, Nicolae doesn’t do much of anything in book 3, let alone “rise.”

  • Jessica_R

    “And get this! When Rayford is walking across the tarmac in the opening he…I almost can’t say this…helps people! He STOPS AND HELPS PEOPLE! He even takes off his expensive super important pilot jacket to wrap it around some wounded nobody! They should be ashamed of themselves! Liberal Hollywood!” 

    And I *totally* want to see this movie. Maybe those of us who live in clusters of close by can arrange mini Slacktivite Cons to go see it. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And, if memory serves, Nicolae doesn’t do much of anything in book 3, let alone “rise.”

    I think Hattie Durham would be in a better position to know.

  • flat

    Oh man this is hilarious, it appears Fred has enough comedy material for now

  • arcseconds

    People actually like Nicholas Cage?

    How strange…

    I’ve always thought of him as kind of devoid of personality in a vaguely creepy way, which sometimes works (like in Lord of War, where his character almost seems to represent an abstraction) but often doesn’t.

    Not saying this couldn’t work for Rayford, but maybe others could pull off the pompousness better…

  • Rhubarbarian82

    People actually like Nicholas Cage?

    It always kind of weirds me out to be in the position of defending him, but I think Cage is one of those actors who can put in a genuinely good performance, so long as the role caters to his strengths and he isn’t working with a director who will let him phone in a Nicholas Cage performance.

    The fact that he’s willing to be in just about anything really doesn’t help his defense. He’s clearly got no metric for judging the quality of the scripts he gets, or just doesn’t particularly care for holding up any sort of reputation as a respectable actor. He may also just not really be totally in touch with the rest of us; he did name his son Kal-El.

    But Raising Arizona, Adaptation, and Bad Lieutenant are great movies, for example, and they’re not just great in spite of Cage. Even when he’s in something really atrocious, he still usually puts in a hilarious performance (see: The Wicker Man). As actors go, you can do a whole lot worse.

  • Baby_Raptor

    So he’s butthurt because there’s not enough him in the movie.

    He made that obvious when he threw out his own book title as the name for the project. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The funny thing is, LB (the first movie) actually had a limited theater release before going to DVD and churches. So LaHaye has probably raked in some $$ already from the sales of said movie  and is just being a greedy-guts at this point.

    I am guessing that limited theater release was the minimal the distributor could get away with and still be considered to have legally fulfilled their end of the contract saying that they would bring it to theaters.  LaHay must have been lead to believe (or just naively assumed) that it would be a much wider theatrical release, while the distributors (probably rightly) thought that it would not be worth the cost and effort to get a wide distribution because beyond the “church basement screening” demographic there was not much of a market for it.  

  • renniejoy
  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    I wonder if he’ll find a way to sneak in homophobia to this one.

  • vsm

    It would presumably be about the apostles. It might actually make a pretty decent movie in the hands of someone who isn’t a fundamentalist.

  • Ian

    A film version of Easter would need to be done Rashomon-style because the Gospel accounts are far from identical.  How many people came to the tomb that morning?  What did they see?

    I’m not saying that to be cynical.  The gospels are confused in a way that sounds much like the unreliability of any eyewitness testimony.  The censors have not gone over the material to erase all versions of the story but one.

    The witnesses don’t understand what they see and are overwhelmed.  An Easter movie that captured that swirling confusion would be very compelling.

  • LeRoc

    Helping people on the tarmac will only lead to socialism.

  • Lori

    “It’s probably the worst script I’ve
    ever read,” LaHaye told CP. “And I’ve read scores of them.”

    Why, exactly, has he read scores of scripts? And by “scripts” does he mean one written by actual writers, which have some chance of being produced by a people who have some idea what they’re doing, or does he mean stuff amauters have banged out after being inspired by L&J’s work to create a “witness” for Christ?

     
    Why should anyone give any weight at all to LeHaye’s opinion of the script, is what I’m asking?*

     

     

    The Christian minister and author,
    who said he’s not really sure how much money Cloud Ten actually put into making
    the 2001 film, knows well that “part of the problem with Christian movies, is
    that it’s always been a money factor, to raise enough money to do a quality
    production.”

    If only there was someone who had piles of money and the ability to get an in with the entertainment industry who could help finance better productions of Christian movies. Maybe someone who had been very successful in another area of entertainment. Like, I don’t know, an author maybe.

    *For those who have never read one, reading a script is not like reading a book, it’s its own skill. Reading a script and getting a reasonably accurate sense of how it will translate to the screen is hard. When you see someone who usually does good films in one that’s just terrible and you wonder, “Why the hell did that person agree to be in this crapfest?” the answer may very well be that it looked good on paper. Conversely, when you here that someone passed on a fabulous role in a huge movie and you wonder why they were so stupid the answer may very well be that the script was weak sauce and the awesome is a result of something that happened post-page.

  • Ken

    There’ll be things to do above and beyond, you know, exist savedly.

    Right.  If it makes money and they do a sequel, there will be plenty of time for LaHaye – er, his pilot-surrogate – to serve the Antichrist while secretly deploring his every act and doing absolutely nothing to help anyone.  You know, “redemptive value” LaHaye-style.
    There’ll
    be things to do above and beyond, you know, exist savedly. – See more
    at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.qg5Z1U6n.dpuf
    There’ll
    be things to do above and beyond, you know, exist savedly. – See more
    at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/#sthash.qg5Z1U6n.dpuf

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Church basement movies!*  This means it could be direct-to-video and be featured on my blog that much sooner!  Woooo!

    Seriously, this makes it sound like the film is already suffering from the problems that plagued the Atlas Shrugged movies–fans of the books and underlying “philosophy” will claim the film watered down the message, tried too hard too appeal to the unwashed masses, and didn’t really “get” the amazingness and life-changing-ness of the books.  Meanwhile, the non-fans, who just want to see a good movie, will assume the movie is a “message” movie, and will save the presumed sermon for Sunday (or, yanno, never) and see a different movie.

    *Given that LaHaye is knocking them, I feel a strange sort of defensiveness about church basement movies.  Sure, they’re done on incredibly tight budgets and I vehemently disagree with the entire moral of the story about 95% of the time, but they can feature some solid and believable performances, and they tend to have far more sympathetic characters than any in the Left Behind or Babylon Rising** books.

    **Excluding Isis McDonald (in the first book), of course.

  • misanthropy_jones

    personally, i would much prefer to see cage play nicolae. to me, he’s at his most entertaining when allowed to go completely over the top. cage’s antichrist would be a thing of rare and transcendent beauty…

  • Naymlap

    Whoa, LaHaye got the rights to the book that’s the sequel to the Passion of the Christ?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Chad Michael Murray? Is he playing Buck?

    If he’s anything in person like the ‘Chad Michael Murray’ character in CWRPF, this is gonna be Wildly Amusing.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    btw, the comments at the Christian Post are a thing of beauty.  Beware Nic Cage, Christ-denier, who dares to act in a Christian movie even though he is not a Christian!

    Call me a soft-hearted and merciful atheist, but I would have said, at worst, “Beware Nic Cage, hit-and-miss actor.” 

  • christopher_y

    Whoa, LaHaye got the rights to the book that’s the sequel to the Passion of the Christ?

    I feel sure The Acts of the Apostles must be out of copyright by now. Even Disney couldn’t hold onto it that long.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That being said, if you consider just the known membership of the Southern Baptist Church, in 2000 it was approximately 16 million.

    Let us suppose that they ALL went to go see a LB movie in the theater, which is what LaHaye may have been banking on at the time.

    Call it $5 a seat ’cause it’s cheap seat Tuesday or a matinee showing. At the gate, that’s $80,000,000. Suppose that LaHaye’s contract calls for him to get 10% of the gross from the theater revenues.

    That’s a pretty cool 8 million reasons to push for a theater screening.

  • aunursa

    What are you most looking forward to about the Left Behind Reboot?

    * Chad Michael Murray as Buck Williams [21 votes]
    * Nicolas Cage as Rayford Steele [15 votes]
    * Ashley Tisdale as Chloe Steele [58 votes]
    * Experiencing the film on the big screen in 2014 [24 votes]
    * More people being aware of the Left Behind story [27 votes]

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The Christian minister and author, who said he’s not really sure how
    much money Cloud Ten actually put into making the 2001 film,

    Oh, for the love of–

    LaHaye’s just flapping his gums at this point because he’s buttmad.

    And he’s making himself look really, really stupid.

    That’s a bad thing, mmkay, Dr. LaHaye*?

    If you are going to critique a thing YOU SPENT YEARS IN A LAWSUIT FOR, why on this God’s green Earth don’t you have all the data at your fingertips to show why you’re the best resident expert on rebooting this series?

    As it is, good riddance. Thank providence the new studio locked you out of the creative process and rehired the dudes who actually managed to make sense out of your work the first time these things got filmed.

    Srsly, LaHaye – just be happy you’ll have a lot of money in the kitty from this reboot. (-_-)


    *He has a legitimate degree in theological studies, if I remember correctly.

  • aunursa

    DELETED

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Marcus ——- I’m looking forward to seeing the third book being
    made into a movie, and Nicolae being kicked on his keester by
    Rayford!!!

    People actually believe that Rayford Steele is an action hero equivalent in this series? Oh dear.

    Lord luv a duck, kill me now.

    And failing that, Even two palms cannot encompass the magnitude of my facepalm.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Amen. LOVED the books. Has made a life change , and closer walk with The Lord and a desire to see all come to Christ. Don’t let out one drop! . 

    Don’t let out one drop…of what? 

    I’m looking forward to seeing the third book being made into a movie, and Nicolae being kicked on his keester by Rayford!!! 

    Rayford kicking Nicky in the ass would make for a far more interesting book.  Too bad Marcus didn’t see how little the Tribbers actually do in these books.

  • P J Evans

    People actually believe that Rayford Steele is an action hero equivalent in this series?

    Remember, these are also people who believe the books are great reading.
    People
    actually believe that Rayford Steele is an action hero equivalent in
    this series? – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/03/tim-lahaye-pans-script-for-left-behind-reboot/comment-page-1/#comment-378659

  • hidden_urchin

    And, if memory serves, Nicolae doesn’t do much of anything in book 3, let alone “rise.”

    Well, we’d have to ask Hattie about that one.

    I am so sorry.

  • aunursa

    Then he reached in, loosened Carpathia’s belt, grabbed him by the lapels, and yanked him out of the chopper. Carpathia landed on his seat on the uneven ground. He jumped up quickly, as if ready to fight. Rayford pushed him back up against the helicopter.
    “Captain Steele, I understand you are upset, but–”
    “Nicolae,” Rayford said, his words rushing through clenched teeth, “you can explain this away any way you want, but let me be the first to tell you: You have just seen the wrath of the Lamb!” *

    final page of Nicolae

    * Rayford is referring to a catastrophic global earthquake as the “Wrath of the Lamb.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And any right-thinking villain would promptly have arranged a little “accident” for Rayford right after that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One must not underestimate the power of selective reading, it seems.

  • P J Evans

     Or lack of more general reading – you would think they’d meet great novels in school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.herrington.1 Boze Herrington

    I wonder what Tim LaHaye’s idea of a “redemptive movie” is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobby.herrington.1 Boze Herrington

     In fairness, this scene was actually pretty compelling in the dramatized radio version.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Also, it’s kinda funny that we, the readers of this blog, some of us non-Christians, know these books better than the Christian Post does–well enough to know that it’s Rayford, not Raymond Steele, and that Rayford, not Buck, is the leader of the Tribulation Force.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/nicolas-cage-likely-to-star-in-left-behind-rapture-series-remake-83644/

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I wonder if it’s like the Twilight thing. Ellenjay give them some paper-thin characters and some situations compatible with their preconceived biases, and they just project onto the page, seeing what they want to be in the story rather than anything actually in the book.

    After all, Nicky’s latest speech basically screams “Don’t actually pay attention to the content of what I’m saying, just be blown away at the evil implicit in my tone! I’m just making bad-person noises, not saying sentences that have meanings!”


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