It's the end of the world, and The Cage feels fine
The financial difficulties that began driving Nicolas Cage, for a time one of Hollywood's top box-office stars, to seemingly agree to damn near any role that was offered don't appear to have subsided. Today's new trailer confirms that what previously sounded like an elaborate joke is in fact a real thing: Cage is indeed starring in the new reboot of the Left Behind franchise, based on a series of religious future-fiction novels published between 1995 and 2007 that previously inspired a pair of low-budget Kirk Cameron features.
The story takes place in the aftermath of The Rapture, a kind of "pre-apocalypse" that some Christian sects believe will precede the end of the world. All at once, everyone on Earth whose souls are already in good standing gets preemptively zapped up to Heaven with the sinners left to suffer through the chaos of The End Times. Cage has the lead role of Rayford Steele, a pilot among the Left Behind who becomes leader of The Tribulation Force; a team of post-Rapture converts to Christianity who unite to battle a rising evil religion called The Global Community, led by The AntiChrist Nicolae Carpathia. These are all the actual names of people and things that appear in these books.
There are 16 books in the Left Behind series, which made headlines as a surprise New York Times best-seller in its heyday. Though popular, the series was widely panned by critics and drew heavy condemnation for plot elements that some saw as anti-semitic or attacks on Buddhism, Hinduism and pantheism. Its version of End Times theology was also criticized by Biblical scholars and religious leaders - The Rapture is an "extrabiblical" concept mainly popular among specific subsets of American fundamentalism.
Much of the film's supporting cast is said to have signed on for sequels, though it's not clear if Cage is among them. The film is scheduled for release on October 3rd.