Nicolas Cage Left Behind For 44 Seconds

First clip of the Rapture epic online

Just when you think you have a handle on Nicolas Cage, something comes along to rock your faith again. Following yesterday's trailer for the thoroughly credible Joe, the first clip has emerged online for the entirely incredible Left Behind. Stunt legend Vic Armstrong (Bond, Indiana Jones, you name it) is the director, and the scene sees Cage as airline pilot Rayford Steele, coping with the aftermath of his wife's departure for Glory.

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Based in Christian beliefs about the End of Days, the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is a wildly successful series of thriller novels (at least among a certain demographic) about humans trying to survive following the pre-apocalyptic Rapture, when the faithful are bodily removed to the safety of Heaven to watch the apocalypse from the good seats. Three movies based on the books, starring Kirk Cameron, already exist.

Armstrong, directing his first film since 1993's Dolph Lundgren vehicle Joshua Tree, has aimed for a disaster-style movie this time. In this film, the story begins after those believers have been taken away in the Rapture, and Armageddon is approaching.

That's what Cage is talking about when he observes to Cassi Thomson that his wife (played, when we see her, by Back To the Future's Lea Thompson) has run off with Jesus. The official Facebook page's commenters love that line. "I'd be more than happy to run off with Jesus," beams one, to the tune of 39 likes. "Better yet, I am going to FLY off with my Jesus one day, and I don't think it will be long from now. Woo-hoo! Rapture!"

And woo-hoo Left Behind! The $15m film is currently in post-production, and the only release date so far is for The Netherlands, who get it on June 19.