So all I have to go to judge the original Left Behind series is this trailer for the first one…

I’m sure I could look deeper, but I’m not gonna. The author of the books sued the production company specifically for making such a shitty adaptation, so I don’t think I’m climbing too far out on a snobby limb here.

In any event, the production company and original producers have decided to re-up with the franchise and are planning a reboot, pumping into the production of a whopping… $15 million bucks?!

Let’s pop the brakes for a second. Whether I like it or not, Left Behind is a hugely successful series of books that has sold 65+ million copies, a figure that (from what I can tell with the information out there) pretty thoroughly stomps the oh-so-hyped Hunger Games. It certainly matches it at the very least, and has much more brand equity built up over a decade+. This is a fairly titanic series of novels that in terms of licensing value would be up there with the Twilights and such (though obviously on the lower end of that particular spectrum). So whether it’s because someone stupidly sold some rights before the phenomenon hit and nobody is letting go, or just because this series can’t catch a break the books are still stuck with Cloud Ten pictures backing the feature films.

Apparently the studio has been inspired by Sherwood Films’ success, with Fireproof and Courageous making a fair amount of money on limited budgets. That seems to be the model they’re aiming for, suggesting Left Behind will become a marginally better-looking and slightly more well-produced piece of crap that barely belongs in a theater. The script is apparently still written like an epic disaster movie, which means their 2011 $15m won’t go all that much farther than their year 2000 $4m. It’s stunning that nobody involved has sold their proverbial soul to a big studio so they can make the $80m dollar version that dilutes the blatant Christian themes ever-so-slightly to aim for the mainstream. It’s not like Universal couldn’t sell a rapture movie, for Christ’s sake.

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