Left Behind, the bestselling Christian book series ever with 5 million copies in print, is making its way to the big screen. Production has begun in Toronto for the movie version of the first end-times installment by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.The promoters of Left Behind hope that the Christian feature film is poised to cross over into mainstream culture.The Y2K scare may have come and gone. But the time is right for the Tribulation Force's movie debut, as end-times Christian films, books, audiotapes, videos, posters, and T-shirts continue to amass sales records, even crossing into mainstream markets. The Indwelling, the latest in the 12-book Left Behind series, was the top seller in early June in rankings by USA Today, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and The New York Times.Toronto–based Cloud Ten Pictures, run by Canadian brothers Peter and Paul Lalonde, is financing the $20 million production, the most expensive evangelistic movie in history, out of the hefty profits from three previous end-times productions: Apocalypse, Tribulation, and Revelation. The film's release is set for November 2000 (video) and February 2001 (wide screen). Anchor stars for the film include Kirk Cameron (best known as the teenage heartthrob from television's Growing Pains) as Buck, the skeptical TV reporter who becomes a born-again believer. Clarence Gilyard (Walker, Texas Ranger; Matlock) plays Bruce Barnes, the pastor who is left behind. The two actors, both Christians, share an explicit evangelical commitment to the project.

Playing in the Big Leagues

Peter Lalonde, executive producer of Left Behind, says his studio's success comes from a combination of new technology, a new strategy, a new attitude among Christian filmmakers, and Hollywood's ...

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