According to Cage, his brother Marc is a Christian pastor who is a fan of the Left Behind books.
"He was the one who really wanted me to do this," Cage says. "He kept saying, 'Nicky,' he calls me, 'I really think you should make this movie.'"
Marc Coppola is a disc jockey who, according to Wikipedia, was at one point known as "Mr. Metal." He has also acted, and appeared in a small part alongside Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas."
If Coppola has any connection to a church or is a pastor, there seems to be no evidence of that on the internet.
Nevertheless, this is the reason Cage is doing this film, according to a video posted to the Left Behind movie's Facebook page.
Cage has been a somewhat controversial choice for the lead. He's known for his strange personal life, wildly inconsistent movies, and sometimes bizarre acting. He seems less suited to the elusive faith-and-family film market than campy, tongue-in-cheek action films. The choice to cast Cage, along with several other choices the producers made, seemed to indicate the remake of "Left Behind" would be less serious than the previous films.
Fans of the fiction series have also expressed serious concerns that Cage is not an evangelical Christian. The producer of the film has come out defending Cage, and one of the authors of the books was also enlisted to that end. Jerry Jenkins publicly scolded fans on Facebook for being disrespectful towards the actor. He 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.Concerns have persisted, though, appearing frequently in comments on the film's Facebook page. Fans seem more or less assuaged by the video of Cage explaining his motivations, however. More than 25,000 people have liked the video and more than 10,000 have shared it on their own faebook pages. Comments have shifted from being critical to expressing the wish that Cage might be converted by his involvement in the film and his pastor brother.
"Seeds planted ... may God make the increase!," says the top comment. "Love him as an actor - would love for him to be a brother as well!"
"Left Behind" has a budget of $15 million and is scheduled for a wide release in U.S. theaters on Friday Oct. 3.