There are headlines that make you do a double take, and then there are headlines that make you step on your dog, smash your knee on a metal file cabinet and smash your candy bar into the wall because there’s NO possible way what you just saw could ever be real.
Dig it War of the Worlds, this headline is real. A Left Behind remake starring Nicolas Cage is really going to happen. Now I know Cage spends a lot of time riding the crazy train and might be the most eccentric actor in Hollywood, but THIS is a whole ‘nother level of batkick.
As far as I remember, the all-time best-selling Left Behind series was written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim Lahaye between the mid-90s and a few years ago, roughly the same time I was going through college and not reading anything except textbooks and nonfiction. The books sold like a gazillion copies and led to some forgettable movies featuring Kirk Cameron who played Mikey Seaver on Growing Pains which I watched a lot between 1985 and 1992.
A lot of times when you hear Kirk Cameron’s name it’s only seconds later that you hear insults which may or may not be funny depending on the topic. As far as I’m concerned here are the relevant Kirk Cameron facts:
- He was the main draw in the aforementioned Growing Pains, the show that kept up with society by sending mom to work and keeping dad at home. From there it was only a matter of time until mom was completely gone and the world entered the Full House era.
- Speaking of Full House, one of the star kids was Candace Cameron, Kirk’s little sister in real life but not on any shows. FH ended in 1995 which is the same year I graduated from high school, so basically the Cameron siblings were a major part of my childhood and coming of age years.
- Kirk Cameron seems to be pretty staunch in his Christian beliefs but as far as I know has managed to live sincerely and avoid anything scandalous. His wife is Chelsea Noble who also appeared for a few years on Growing Pains and then an episode of Seinfeld before doing three Left Behind movies.
So Cameron represents some pop culture from my youth and is a kid actor who didn’t end up doing crystal meth in Vegas parking lots. He’s become the “A-lister” for bad Christian films. I respect the guy even if poking fun now and again.
The Left Behind adaptation was so uniquely, um, bad that it’s hard to even call whatever is about to happen next a reboot. The press releases about the Cage adaptation are pretty sparse and we don’t even know which character he’s signing on to play. Seems hard to believe that Cage will play the 30-year-old reporter Buck somethingorother.
Word is that they’re going to focus on the end of the world action/adventure angle. Who knows how different this version will be. If it were up to Cage I’m sure aliens would swoop in and make everyone wear talismans of bird skulls or something. But apparently the production company behind the deal is faith-based Cloud Ten Pictures.
- I wonder what Cage makes of the biblical rapture prophetically described in the New Testament. We’ll probably hear from him on that before too long.
- Will it be any good?
- More importantly, will you see it? That is to say, will it make any money? With a small budget of $15 million and a pretty easy to mobilize audience of Christians, scoffers, seekers of the quirky, and Nic Cage fans (yes, they’re real) I’m guessing it will.
- What would you think of this story if a different actor agreed to appear in the film?
- Was my desire to really just talk about sitcoms of the 80s and 90s that transparent?
I think I’ll see it because I’ll have to, good or terrible. I’m thinking RedBox but might have to hit a theater for a timely perspective. I’m picturing all the clunky ways Christian filmmakers try to get prayer scenes into films and can’t picture Cage doing one of those. Prayer is one of those natural things that becomes so unnatural in entertainment.
Maybe Cage will just switch faces with someone to hide his identity until he suddenly bursts into flames while riding his motorcycyle.
Can we just get to National Treasure 3 already?