Cloud Ten Pictures has increased their budget in order to remake the “Left Behind” movie series into a wider theatrical release.
The Christian Post caught up with André van Heerden, president of Film and Television Production at Cloud Ten Pictures, who described a “bigger, more polished” feel for the new version of “Left Behind.”
In the film, the biblical prophecy of Armageddon begins when the Rapture instantly takes all believers in Christ from Earth. A reporter left behind learned that the Anti-Christ will soon take power.
“Left Behind” of 2001 starred actor Kirk Cameron and followed the book series by authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. In 1999, LaHaye filed a lawsuit against Namesake Entertainment and Cloud Ten Pictures over his dissatisfaction in the quality of the movie. The author was disappointed that the film company released the first installment of the film series on home video through mainly Christian outlets when he wanted a wider reach.
In rebooting the franchise, the studio has a $15 million dollar budget – in comparison to the mere $4 million in the original. The new film should be more aligned with what LaHaye was envisioning.
When asked if the studio was working with LaHaye though van Heerden said no, and that casting is still uncertain.
“We’ve been working on several documentaries and feature films, with ‘Left Behind’ being the biggest,” said van Heerden. “We are not opposed to keeping the same cast [from the original film], we love them and think they are great.”
Locations are being considered for filming that include Toronto, Canada, Louisiana, and Atlanta, Georgia.
Three films were released by Cloud Ten, “Left Behind: The Movie,” “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force,” and “Left Behind: World at War.” In agreement with LaHaye, the film rights were returned to the author granting him the opportunity to remake the films. Finally in October the rights to “Left Behind” were again officially restored to Cloud Ten Pictures.
Speaking to Christian Cinema, LaHaye described what he sought in a film based on his books.
“My dream has always been to enter the movie theater with a first-class, high-quality movie that is grippingly interesting, but also is true to the biblical storyline- and that was diluted in the first attempt; but Lord willing, we are going to see this thing made into the movie that it should be.”
In a past interview with van Heerden, he told CP that he is proud of the past production of “Left Behind,” which sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
“There were certain things that if we had more money we would’ve made it differently,” he added. “There were certain story lines that we would’ve made bigger and more exciting.”
Although the project has not yet received a green light, the reboot has Cloud Ten “extremely excited about reaching a whole new generation with literally one of the biggest stories,” according to van Heerden.