Nicolas Cage to shoot movie in BR

A remake of “Left Behind,” starring Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage, is set to begin filming in Baton Rouge next month.

According to a posting on the Baton Rouge Film Commission Twitter feed, “Left Behind” will start shooting Aug. 5 and will go until mid-September.

The movie will be shot at Films in Motion Studios near Metro Airport and downtown.

“There will be several locations for shooting, but they’re not quite pinned down yet,” said Liza Kelso, acting director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission. “They’re doing the casting this week and they should have the final locations soon.”

“Left Behind” is based on the best-selling series of Christian novels about life after the Rapture. The movie will deal with what happens to people who are left behind on Earth after Christians are called to heaven. Sixteen “Left Behind” books have been published and the series has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide.

A low-budget movie version of the first book was released in 2000, but in 2010 Cloud Ten Pictures got the rights to do a bigger budget remake.

“My dream has always been to enter the movie theater with a first-class, high-quality movie that is grippingly interesting, but also is true to the biblical storyline — and that was diluted in the first attempt, but Lord willing, we are going to see this thing made into the movie that it should be,” Tim LaHaye, who co-wrote the series with Jerry Jenkins, told Christian Cinema in 2010.

“Left Behind” is set for release in 2014. The movie will be directed by Vic Armstrong, who served as a stunt coordinator and second unit director for a number of recent blockbusters, including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Gangs of New York.”

“ ‘Left Behind’ has a huge following,” Kelso said. “We welcome Nicolas Cage and the entire crew and look forward to working with them.”

Kelso said the Baton Rouge movie industry is on track for a “busy, busy fall.”

Right now, a small independent movie “Student Bodies” is being shot in town. So far this year the comedy “Search Party,” the teen science-fiction thriller “The Maze Runner” and a four-part miniseries about Bonnie and Clyde have been filmed around the Capital Region.

Officials with Celtic Media Centre and Raleigh Studios have said a major movie will be shot at the studio beginning in September, but they can’t reveal just yet what the project is.