Left Behind Wiki

This article is about the 2014 reboot with Nicolas Cage. For the 2000 film, see Left Behind: The Movie.

"The End Begins. Are You Ready?"
―Official Tagline

Left Behind is a 2014 Christian thriller film based on the first few chapters of Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the first book in the Left Behind book series. It was directed by Vic Armstrong and theatrically released on October 3rd, 2014. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Jordin Sparks, and Lea Thompson. The film is written by John Patus and Paul LaLonde. Paul is the co-founder of Cloud Ten Pictures, the original films company, but is having his own brand new company Stoney Lake Entertainment produce the film with it still being co-produced by Cloud Ten.

A direct sequel with an entirely different cast called Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist was released in January 2023.


University of Central Arkansas student Chloe Steele has flown home from college to New York to surprise her father, pilot Rayford Steele, for his birthday party. However, her mother, Irene, informs her that her father cannot make it. While at the airport waiting for him, Chloe meets investigative reporter Cameron "Buck" Williams.

Rayford shows up on his way to a flight and apologizes to Chloe for missing his birthday party, insisting he was called in to pilot a flight to London at the last minute. He also assures Chloe that things are fine between himself and his wife, who recently had become a proselytising Christian, much to Chloe's annoyance. Chloe suspects things are not fine between her parents – she had seen him flirting with flight attendant Hattie Durham and notices he has removed his wedding ring. Her suspicions are soon confirmed when an airport worker hands Chloe a pair of tickets for a concert in London that Rayford had ordered, indicating his trip was planned in advance.

Chloe brushes off another of her mother's preachings and takes her brother to the mall. As she hugs him, he vanishes, into thin air, leaving his clothes behind. The same has happened to numerous others at the mall. Mayhem breaks loose as shoppers begin looting the stores. A driver-less car plows through the mall windows, and a small plane without a pilot crashes into the parking lot. Chloe sees television reports of children and some adults disappearing, as worldwide panic sets in.

On Rayford's flight, the same strange event has occurred – several people, including his co-pilot Chris Smith, Kimmy, one of the flight attendants, and all the children on board, have simply disappeared. The remaining passengers panic and demand answers. Rayford does his best to reassure the passengers he will pass on information once he has any. He has difficulty getting radio or satellite phone contact with anyone on the ground, until he is finally informed that people have disappeared everywhere and the world is in uproar. Soon a pilot-less jet approaches directly into their flight path, resulting in a midair collision, that damages Rayford's fuel line. He decides his only option is to return to New York and hope his fuel holds out.

On the ground, Chloe hears her father's mayday call on her cell phone and assumes his plane has crashed. She later finds her mother's jewelry left behind in the still-running shower, as she has also disappeared. Chloe makes her way to her mother's church, where family pastor Bruce Barnes explains that God has taken his believers to heaven and the rest have to face the end of days. The pastor explains he was not taken because he did not really believe what he had preached. Rayford comes to the same conclusion after finding evidence of religious belief in his copilot and stewardess' personal effects. He tells Hattie about his wife. She is upset as she did not know he was married, but Rayford convinces her to be brave and to help calm the passengers down until they can safely land.

Chloe climbs to the top of a bridge, intending to commit suicide, when she gets a call from Buck, who is in the cockpit with Rayford. Rayford explains to Chloe that all the New York-area airports are closed and the streets full, and he is low on fuel and has nowhere to land. Chloe finds an abandoned truck and uses it to clear away the equipment from a road under construction in order to create a makeshift runway. She uses her compass app and tells Rayford the coordinates of the landing site. Rayford is able to glide to a rough landing, saving the passengers, who leave the plane only to see the world aflame. Buck mentions that it looks like the end of the world, while Chloe informs him that it is just the beginning.


Differences from the novel[]

  • Originally, the rapture occurred around midnight EST while characters were sleeping in their beds to be literally consistent with Bible scripture. In the film, it occurs mid-day for dramatic scenes.
  • For dramatic scenes, PCA Flight 257 is involved with a mid-air collision when it clips another plane in the sky that had lost both its pilot and co-pilot. The right wing becomes damaged and catches fire  which makes the plane lose fuel. Due to various planes still in the sky amid airport troubles, Rayford had to land the plane dangerously inland near a mall.  Also, a voice mail accidentally recorded during the incident made Chloe think her father died. None of this occurred in the novel as Rayford got the plane back to O'Hare without any further incident.
    • With the movie set in Long Island, it left and was supposed to land at JFK whereas in the novel it was O'Hare in Chicago.
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams is a television news reporter for Global News Network instead of a magazine editor for Global Weekly.
  • New Hope Church is located in Long Island, New York instead of Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Left Behind: The Movement[]

Within anticipation of the film, there was already a fan social media campaign to be an outreach to believers and non-believers with a premise of: "There should be individuals standing by (outside the movie theater) to answer questions and offer prayer for individuals who chose to accept Christ due to the message behind the Left Behind movie".

This was seen as a great opportunity for pastors and other preachers to preach the Rapture and/or other 2nd Coming ideology based on their understanding of scripture with the ideology of the film.

Another social media campaign were fictitious listings on Facebook and Instagram for New Hope Church as if it were a real world place. However, the pages cite that the location is in Garden City, New York which would be a change from the original Mount Prospect, Illinois location but in the film it is actually Long Island.

If it is somewhat part of this movement, an authorized church youth ministry resource kit was available for $70 as a six-week religious course touching upon the main points of the film.


After many delays and funding issues, Rise of the Antichrist finished filming in 2021. Although it is intended to be a direct sequel, the cast is entirely different and Paul Lalonde released a statement in April of that year reflecting on this film:

“For those who haven't heard me talk about it in a while, I wanted to make something clear, especially to fans of the book series and the original LB movie. The Cage movie was not written or produced for either the book lovers or the choir. My dream at the time was to share the reality of the rapture with people who might never otherwise hear about it. Lots of people now know about the rapture that wouldn't have otherwise, so in that sense I have always considered it a success. And we have heard from literally thousands of unbelievers who were moved by it or had an unsaved friend moved by it. Of course, I knew it would annoy a lot of people who wanted to see a very pointed altar call and a direct presentation of the Gospel, but since I had done exactly that in nine previous movies, I gave myself permission to make one movie for those who really needed to hear it. The next movie will be back to telling the story from the books.”


Left Behind was nominated for three Razzies at the 35th Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Nicolas Cage. It lost in all three categories to Saving Christmas, starring Kirk Cameron, who coincidentally starred in the original Left Behind film franchise.


  • The decision to make a remake/reboot is the fact that it has been eight years since Left Behind: World at War was made, and therefore it was felt impossible to make a "Left Behind 4".
  • The word "Rapture" is never used, this likely is in relation to the word never actually appearing in the Bible.
  • The set for the fateful Pan-Continental Flight 257 that was in the air while the Rapture occurred is the same one that was used for Oceanic Airline Flight 815 in the hit TV series Lost.
    • In relation of the plane, the flight to London was supposed to take 6 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Shasta got a gun from the air marshal on the plane after he vanished. We see his empty holster on the seat a number of times. Rayford later tells Buck "I forgot all about him".
  • The manager of the Mall of Louisiana makes a small cameo as he rides an escalator during a mall scene. Many people think this is Tim Lahaye because of how they look, but this is not true.
  • Actresses Lea and Cassi Thomson, who play Irene and Chloe Steele respectfully, are not related in real life. They have played mother and daughter-in-law before on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth.
    • It is semi-notable that although they are married, Rayford and Irene do not share a scene together.
  • Actress Ashley Tisdale was first stated for the role of Chloe Steele in many pre-production promotional posters along with a short MTV interview about the role, but as filming started it was announced on August 9th that she would be leaving due to a scheduling conflict for a television opportunity; Ironically, it was also because of a scheduling conflict that had Janaya Stephens play Chloe instead of Lacey Chabert in the original Left Behind and its two sequels.




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