A distribution deal for the sequel to the recent "Left Behind" movie that starred Nicholas Cage has been struck and a producer of the film says it will stick closer to the books and will be aimed specifically at the Christian audience.
The film's pre-production was confirmed Wednesday and will be released through Cloud Ten Pictures in the summer of 2016.
David Heimbecker, who works for the studio, commented on the original film's reception and what they might do differently the second time around.
Heimbecker stated that the studio attempted to appeal to an audience beyond just Christians and with "Left Behind 2" they want to satisfy their core audience.
"What we tried to do with the first move was reach out beyond the current fan and try and get more people interested in End Times prophecy. And the problem with that is, we're walking a line with core Christians. We weren't following the doctrine as closely as they wanted to see it happen," Heimbecker said in a statment to The Christian Post. "To more secular consumers of the film, it was religious propaganda. You're walking a line and unfortunately, like we're doing with the next one, we're completely targeting Christians."
Heimbecker agreed that the first film's faith message and theology was watered down and claims this was done to reach a larger audience. However, he also admits that this approach failed.
"One of the problems with many Christian films is that they do well with people who are already core Christians, but we were trying to use ["Left Behind"] as an [evangelism] tool but it did not cross the line."
Heimbecker hoped the original film would spark conversations with non-believers by presenting the Gospel in the different format of End Times fiction. And even though it wasn't a massive success, many fans on social media admitted the movie sparked their interest in church and the Bible.
"Clearly, the goal was to do that on a grander scale. And since it didn't cross the line what we're basically doing, moving forward, is following the books much more closely," he continued.
In order to speed up the process of creating a sequel to "Left Behind," Cloud Ten created an Indiegogo campaign to secure the final production costs to push the sequel's production forward.
"The crowdfunding campaign is to bridge the gap," he said. "We have investors who invested in the first film, but aren't able to give up the money [for the sequel] until they recoup from the first one. In order to get started in pre-production that's all this is about, is getting started now because it takes 12 to 18 months to shoot a film and get it to market. So we want to make sure we can do that and get it out by summer next year."
Heimbecker was not able to confirm if Nicholas Cage would return as the lead in the film, but did state that some of the other actors are under contract for two sequels.