Actor Nicolas Cage will reportedly star in what producers hope will be a new, improved movie version of the best-selling, end-times thriller Left Behind.
The project is being developed by Cloud Ten Pictures, which released the first film adaptation of the book in 2000, following it with two other installments from the successful series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins—which have sold more than 64 million copies since the first title came out in 1995.
Cloud Ten founder and CEO Paul Lalonde, who was one of the producers of the original, independently made movie that starred Kirk Cameron, is producing the action thriller that will be "in the mold of a classic disaster film" with Michael Walker, The Hollywood Reporter reported. Jay David Williams of Family Screen Partners is executive producing.
Producers are working with a budget in the $15 million range and are aiming to shoot the first movie in the trilogy in spring 2013 in Baton Rouge, La., The Hollywood Reporter reported.
Veteran stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong is in negotiations to direct the remake. Armstrong was Harrison Ford's stunt double in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Christopher Reeve's double in Superman and Superman II before turning to designing death-defying feats and action sequences.
Cage's acting credits include National Treasure, The Rock and Leaving Las Vegas, which won him a Best Actor Academy Award.
The second screen version of Left Behind: The Movie follows the resolution of a long-running dispute between Cloud Ten and LaHaye, who was unhappy with the filmmakers' releases. The film rights reverted to LaHaye and Jenkins in 2008 as part of a settlement, but were returned to Cloud Ten as of October 2010, the company said.
The remake will be "at the true Hollywood 'blockbuster' level that a message like this deserves," Lalonde has said. Company President André van Heerden has said that while the previous films had touched millions, "we know that the story can have an even bigger impact as a bigger-budget, end-times thriller on the big screen." Tyndale published the Left Behind series last year in four repackaged editions.