Aug 16, 2013

Jerry Jenkins asks, 'Why Nicolas Cage?'

It's not exactly an endorsement, but one of the writers of Left Behind is willing to defending the controversial casting choice in the forthcoming remake of the movie.

And he's willing to at least associate with the film. On the second day of the reboot's filming, Jerry Jenkins visited the set, posed in the cockpit of the plane, joked about how he would not be a good choice for the lead, and met the cast and crew:

Photo: Cloud Ten Pictures. 
L-R: Evangelist Sammy Tippett, unidentified, producer Paul Lalonde and author Jerry Jenkins. 
Tim LaHaye, who conceived the series, has said this remake of Left Behind involves the worst script he's ever read, is nothing like the book, and has no redemptive content.

Jenkins, who wrote the mammoth bestseller, has not commented on the film. He did diss the last one, though, calling it a church-basement movie. Both he and LaHaye thought the movie version of Left Behind should be a big budget, mass market production, rather than something that went direct to DVD and was marketed to Christian youth groups.

The remake is being produced by the same company as the 2001 version, but the company's plans for the film seems different this time.

The movie is being directed by Vic Armstrong, a famous stuntman-turned-director. There's an estimated budget of $15 million, compared to $2 million in 2001. And Nicolas Cage is starring as the man who, when the story starts, has his "fully loaded 747" on autopilot and is thinking about cheating on his wife.

Jenkins hasn't said what he thinks of all this, but he did go on set and seemed excited about Cage.

His report of his visit:
Jenkins also commented on his facebook page, a few days later, defending Cage to Left Behind and Kirk Cameron fans. Jenkins wrote,
Nicolas Cage was selected by the Left Behind filmmakers for his role because of his talent in the same way you might choose a surgeon or a mechanic. If you're a fan [of Left Behind], honor him by spelling his name correctly and realizing that he likely has people who find references to him in social media like this, thus, your comments could easily find their way back to him. You don't have to agree with the choice or be a fan, but I'm sure you'll want to be respectful.
It's a little bit of an endorsement.

In the book, incidentally, Jenkins writes that the pilot looked like Robert Redford.