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'Left Behind' Reboot with Nicolas Cage, JFK Drama 'Parkland' Get CDs

'Left Behind' Reboot with Nicolas Cage, JFK Drama 'Parkland' Get CDs
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I can’t really say anything about Nicolas Cage’s oeuvre that hasn’t already been said in this College Humor video, so I won’t bother. I will say, however, that in terms of Internet satire accurately predicting the future, recent news of Cage agreeing to star in a reboot of “Left Behind” puts that video in the rare air of a certain Onion article published on the eve of George W. Bush’s inauguration.

If you’ve never heard of “Left Behind,” it is a series of novels that fictionalizes the events following the rapture. The books are very popular among evangelical Christians, having sold over 60 million copies, and the first two novels in the series were adapted into films starring banana enthusiast Kirk Cameron. In the first book, millions of people disappear from the world instantaneously, leaving those “left behind” to search for answers amid the resulting chaos. Turns out, the answer to the most important question, “What in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks just happened?” is “All the true Christians were raptured into heaven.” More surprisingly, the answer to the question “How much do these movies suck?” is “Well, I’ve only seen the first one, but nowhere near as much as you might think.”

Still, considering the overtly religious subject matter, Cage’s decision to sign on is an odd one, even by his standards. If I were to venture a guess as to his thought process — and we’re assuming a rational mind, here — it would be this: When you get down to it, a disaster film is a disaster film. And besides, why should us secularists deprive our devout friends of their very own unintentionally hilarious Nic Cage movie? All they’ve got is one measly scene in “Face/Off.Donald Pemrick and Dean Fronk are casting nonbelievers ahead of a March shoot in Baton Rouge.

If the prospect of Nicolas Cage toplining a thriller about the End Times has left a bad taste in your mouth, here’s a palate cleanser: Tom Hanks’ Playtone shingle is producing a film about the JFK assassination starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jackie Weaver. “Parkland” will focus on the chaotic environment at Dallas’s Parkland hospital on the day Kennedy was shot. The script is adapted from Vincent Bugliosi’s 1,600-page tomeReclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” the result of over 20 years of research. (It evidently comes with a CD-ROM containing another 1,000 pages of footnotes, but that fact is impossible to confirm considering no one has ever bothered to unseal it from its envelope.) The author’s conclusion? Oswald acted alone. Oliver Stone’s conspiracy thriller this is not, but there may or may not be a subplot involving zombies. Mary Vernieu and Lindsay Graham of Betty Mae Inc. are casting for a January start in Austin, Texas. Plans are to release the movie on or around the 50th anniversary of the assassination, which will be Nov. 22 of next year.

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