The producer of the film Left Behind, Paul Lalonde, has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund a sequel to the 2014 film. If you aren’t familiar with Left Behind, it is the one where Nic Cage makes this face a lot:
Still can’t recall it? It was the film based on the novel series about the Christian end of days, written by Tim LaHoye and Jerry B. Jenkins, starring Oscar-winning actor (really, that’s a fact) Nic Cage. Why would a nationally released movie starring a bankable, well known actor, require crowdfunding?
It is probably because the original film currently carries a 2% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 12% positive rating on Metacritic. Although, according to the production team, it is because: “We have all seen what happens to Christian, Bible-based stories when the big Hollywood studios take control. They rewrite God, change the fundamental meaning of God’s word and make a mockery of the Christian faith.” The film did not turn a profit, but overall it was not a cataclysmic commercial flop (the budget of the original film was $16 million dollars, and it brought in just over $14 million foreign and domestic).
For the sequel, Lalonde’s Indeigogo campaign is asking for $500,000. Through five days, it has raised about $55,000, so there is quite a bit of budget to make up before the sequel gets the greenlight. With that small of a budget, it would be doubtful that Cage would return to reprise his role as perpetually confused pilot, Rayford Steele, but we have all seen Cage make equally strange choices with his roles.
The series of books, which follows the aforementioned pilot and his family trying to survive after the rapture has occurred and they are “left behind,” currently consists of sixteen novels. For his campaign, Lalonde has offered a wide variety of backer tiers. They range from a copy of the script, to getting your name in the credits, to being an extra in the film. Sadly, the two highest tiered goals (being cast as a speaking role in the film) have already been snapped up.
It is easy to make fun of sequels to films that were almost universally panned, but crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have dramatically changed the way that entertainment is created and consumed. Games, movies, music, and many other popular forms of entertainment are gradually shifting from the traditional studio/producer method into a method that gives more control to the creators and gives the fans more of a voice in how the final product turns out. I doubt too many people are clamoring for a sequel to Left Behind, but maybe the crowdfunding voices will prove me wrong. If you want a special “Home Town Screening” of Left Behind 2, it will only run you $5,000…