Legendary stunt coordinator and second unit director Vic Armstrong is making a very rare jump into the director’s chair for the rebooted Left Behind movie.
Armstrong is in negotiations to direct Nicolas Cage, who is making a deal to star in what producers hope will be a new trilogy based on the mega-successful Christian-themed books written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
Paul Lalonde, who was one of the producers of the original independently-made series that starred Kirk Cameron, is producing the action thriller with Michael Walker. Jay David Williams of Family Screen Partners is exec producing.
The movies were political thrillers that focused on the End of Days and the Rapture. Those Christian beliefs are again the focal point of the new movie but the story will be more in the mold of a classic disaster movie. The plot unfolds during the first few hours after the Rapture and focuses on the survivors.
Producers are working with a budget in the $15 million range, and are aiming to being shooting the first movie spring 2013 in Baton Rouge.
Armstrong is an icon in the stunts and second unit circles. He was Harrison Ford’s stunt double in Raiders of the Lost Ark (he’s the guy that goes flying head first out of the movie truck, then moments later slides underneath it using his whip) and Christopher Reeves in Superman and Superman II, before turning to designing death-defying feats and action sequences.
His work encompasses stunt and second unit work in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the original Total Recall to the Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies and Mission: Impossible III to Thor and The Amazing Spider-Man.
While he directed a couple of episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, the only time Gersh-repped Armstrong has ever directed a feature was in the early 1990s when helmed the Dolph Lundgren action movie Army of One.