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If you would have told me that the studio remake of Left Behind would only see one minor problem by the time it began its production, I would have at first been skeptical, and then assumed it had something to do with Nic Cage. But it turns out that it involves another cast member - Ashley Tisdale. Variety reports that the actress connection with the film has ended and that she has been quickly replaced by Cassi Thomson, best known for her work on HBO’s Big Love. There’s no reason given for Tisdale’s sudden split, but I’m not even going to speculate, as speculation might end up screwing me over when the End of Days hits.
The Australian-born Thomson, who starred as Chloë Sevigny and Željko Ivanek’s daughter Cara Lynn in the polygamist drama, has recently had a recurring role on ABC Family’s drama series Switched at Birth as Lucas Grabeel’s fiancé Nikki, along with a few other TV appearances. As far as films go, her work as been tethered to the Made For TV projects of Lifetime and Hallmark, and if we aren’t counting 2008’s wacky family adventure Cop Dog, this will be her first major role. Kind of a strange choice to follow Tisdale, who seems to be comfortable sticking to TV and film voicework, but Thomson will certain reap the rewards, as I’m sure this film will make a killing with certain demographics.
Left Behind, which is based on the first of many novels in the mega-popular series from authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, centers on a group of people left on Earth after millions of others simultaneously vanish. It’s interesting that the Variety article makes zero mention of this story's religious nature, which is odd considering it’s about the Rapture.
Cage will star as a jumbo jet pilot who is “trying to calm down his hysterical passengers,” and Thomson will be playing his daughter, who is trying to find her mother and brother after the mass disappearance. From what we’d previously learned, the father and daughter join together to form the Tribulation Force, which makes it sound like the movie be taking on more than just the first novel.
The project, which just kicked off its production in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this past Friday, also stars Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Martin Klebba (Oz the Great and Powerful) and Nicky Whelan (Chosen). It's a remake of the 2001 film starring Kirk Cameron, but we're not going to make a big deal out of that one.
Sparks isn’t the only singer in the bunch, as Thomson herself is a singer-songwriter. Watch the music video for her 2008 single “Caught Up in You” below, which happens to feature Twilight star Taylor Lautner.