Even if you're not religious, you've probably heard of the Christian eschatology term "the rapture." If you haven't, it's essentially a vision of the end of the world where upon the second coming of Jesus, God will pluck the best of us straight off the earth and up to heaven, leaving the rest of humanity behind to suffer the apocalypse. It's a concept that has sparked a bunch of creative endeavors, from the meme where people photograph their vacated clothes as if they'd been abruptly raptured, to the thoughtful, hilarious, and captivating Tom Perrotta novel The Leftovers, to the expansive and popular Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Having spawned 16 best-selling novels, it might not surprise you it’s the last that's getting a movie adaptation geared toward a franchise.

Hang on a minute, you might say. Didn't they already make a trilogy of Left Behind movies starring Kirk Cameron? Yes, yes they did, but the property's producers are angling for mainstream attention by casting Nicolas Cage in the lead role for the new version and Deadline reports TV star Ashley Tisdale (Phineas and Ferb, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) has signed on to join him. Cage will play Ray Steele, a neglectful dad and pilot who finds God too late and so forms the Tribulation Force to cope with the coming carnage. Tisdale will play his daughter Chloe, who has also been left behind and is a founding member of the Force.

Frankly, I fail to see the upside of this for Tisdale. She's best known for her comedy skills and spirited singing voice, neither of which will be of much use here. Maybe she's looking to start building her movie and drama creds, but still, Cage is proving an unreliable leading man when it comes to box office bankability. Nor does Left Behind afford her the chance to work with a heralded director, since it will be helmed by stuntman turned filmmaker Vic Armstrong, whose only previous directorial feature was a 1993 Dolph Lungren action movie called Army of One. Concerning this project, I can help but imagine Tisdale shrugging her shoulders, and saying in a comically flat tone, "It's a living."

Tisdale will next hit theaters in Scary Movie 5, which opens April 12th.

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