With over one million likes on the Left Behind Facebook page, fans of the Left Behind series wait with anticipation to watch Nicholas Cage take the lead role in a movie that poses the question of what life will be like in the end times. The movie is based on the best selling book Left Behind—the first in a series of 16 novels—by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Three films based on the series were released in the early 2000’s, starring Kirk Cameron.
Left Behind opens October 3 in theaters nationwide.
In an interview with Politichick Kathryn Porter, author Jerry B. Jenkins offers his take on the new movie.
KP: It’s no small feat to secure an A-lister like Nicholas Cage to take the lead role in a faith based movie. How did that happen?
JBJ: I have no idea, but I‘m thrilled, as having a real star in that role has been a long-time dream. I’m guessing a lot of money and some influential friends (plus I understand Mr. Cage has a brother who’s a pastor and a fan of the book series).
KP: What’s different in this version of the movie when compared to the previous version starring Kirk Cameron?
JBJ: This covers only the first two chapters of the first book, is bigger, more ambitious, bigger budget, better special effects, better script. Those videos had their place, but if you liked those, you’ll love this.
KP: What is your favorite scene in this movie?
JBJ: It’s hard to choose. The subtlety of Cage’s Rayford Steele character lying to his daughter Chloe; revealing to his love interest, Hattie, that he has a wife; realizing that his wife was right all along and knowing she’ll be gone if he ever makes it home; the dramatic crash-landing scene…powerful.
KP: Can we expect any follow-up movies? If so, how many are in the works?
JBJ: Sequels all depend on the success of the first movie. I believe they have much of the cast on board for at least two sequels.
KP: What inspired you to write the Left Behind series?
JBJ: Dr. Tim LaHaye had been writing nonfiction books about end times biblical prophecy since before I had been born (he’s 88 now), but had always believed that more people would be interested if the story were told in novel form with characters to follow through the events. Our mutual agent introduced us, we hit it off, Dr. LaHaye served as the theological and biblical expert, and I got the fun part—writing the novels. It helped that I had grown up in the same tradition and agreed with his views, but I would not have been able to defend them from a scholarly standpoint, so he was able to keep me on track that way. Plus he was a great cheerleader, always asking to see more pages “because I want to know what happens next myself!” It’s been a great partnership for 20 years.
KP: What is the take-home message you hope moviegoers leave with?
JBJ: The whole point from the beginning has been to say, “Yes, this is fiction, but it’s based on something we believe will happen in much this way someday. We don’t want anyone to be left behind. Examine it against Scripture, go back to church, study, and be prepared.”