Is actor Nicholas Cage trying to send out a message to all of the unbelievers in the world, or is he just trying to make the mass majority contemplate the possibility that God does in fact exist? Or could Cage be choosing to participate in certain films primarily for entertainment value? One aspect is for sure, as it is made evident in the new Left Behind movie trailer, Nicholas Cage ponders religion once again in this 2000 rapture remake.
The Left Behind 2014 remake was originally based on the Christian 16-book series written by Christian ministers Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The film spotlights a group of people who are left behind to deal with anarchy and the rise of the Anti-Christ after millions of believers in Jesus Christ are taken and just “disappear” from Earth. Nicholas Cage plays pilot Rayford Steele who is trying to help others comprehend why and how unexplained and traumatic events across the globe are occurring. The series was first developed into a film in the year 2000 that was released straight to DVD, starring Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, and Janaya Stephens.
Director Vic Armstrong wanted to re-create the film with more action, special effects, and more details about the rapture and how it touched the lives of the believers. Reponses to the remake have been both positive and negative with comments ranging from attacks on Cage’s acting abilities and movie choices, to excitement and joy from Jesus followers who cannot wait to see the film.
Cage has starred in many movies that have a similar faith-driven theme, making many of his fans wonder what his true motives are for choosing these roles. For example, Cage co-starred in City of Angels with Meg Ryan, and portrayed an angel who falls in love and asks God to make him mortal so that he could understand what it feels like to love and be loved as a human.
In Knowing, Nicholas Cage portrays an M.I.T. professor who links a mysterious list of numbers from a time capsule to past and future disasters from around the globe. The numbers eventually point out the end of the world, and Cage sacrifices himself so that his son and his son’s female friend can help God restart the human race after the old one is destroyed. Cage also plays Johnny Blaze in Marvel Comic’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and is called upon to stop the devil who is trying to take human form. The Left Behind trailer foreshadows similar apocalyptic calamities as in Knowing, and Nicholas Cage ponders religion once again in this pre-tribulation rapture remake.
There has even been speculation that Cage is a Roman Catholic, but he has not confirmed or denied his religious beliefs.
Nicholas Cage’s faith was even questioned by his fans after the release of the Left Behind 2014 trailer during a question and answer session which involved the film’s producer and writer Paul Lalonde on Facebook. One fan in particular mentioned that Cage should not have been cast in the movie because he “was not a believer.” Lalonde replied by saying that there are many Christian actors who choose to maintain their personal faith private and that declaring who is a believer and who is not is between them and God.
Although Left Behind seems to be aimed at Christians or individuals who yearn to learn more about faith and the possibility that God exists, the movie also has promise as an enticing action movie for those who crave excitement as well as a deeper meaning. Although the Left Behind trailer does portray Nicholas Cage pondering religion once again in the rapture remake, it leaves believers, non-believers and movie critics wondering about the true message the film is trying to get across.
Commentary by Amy Nelson