The riveting apocalyptic adventure film based on Revelations "Vanished: Left Behind: Next Generation," will be in theaters nationwide for one night only coming this September and promises to captivate both young and old alike.
Based on the The New York Times best-selling book series Left Behind by authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the upcoming film targets a new audience by telling the story from the perspective of young adults who are thrust into adulthood far too soon when people around them begin to mysteriously disappear.
The film's synopsis reads: "When a billion people around the globe suddenly vanish and chaos engulfs the nation - headstrong 15-year-old Gabby (Amber Frank) is thrust into adulthood way too soon. The event forces Gabby, along with her younger sister Claire (Keely Wilson) and the two teen boys vying for Gabby's affection, Josh (Mason Dye) and Flynn (Dylan Sprayberry) - to try to figure out what has happened and how they fit into this dangerous new world."
Throughout the film, each character is forced out of their individual comfort zones, opening them to the questions of purpose, and whether their lives and choices really matter.
Produced by Dave Alan Johnson ("The Client," "Doc," "Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye," "High Incident") alongside Randy LaHaye (grandson of Left Behind co-author Dr. Tim LaHaye) the new feature, which will be in theaters on Sept. 28, promises encourage, inspire, challenge and entertain viewers.
In an exclusive interview with The Gospel Herald, one of the film's stars, Rachel Hendrix ("October Baby", "Perfect Wave") revealed why "Vanished" will resonate with the new generation of "Left Behind" fans and what questions she hopes audience members will ask themselves after viewing the film.
GH: What drew you to "Vanished"?
RH: I am always really interested in stories where you're dealing with one main protagonist or character who is dealing with the internal struggle and the external struggle of a circumstance that is very human. Obviously, in this story, you're dealing with this end-times scenario where people are disappearing and our lead girl is trying to figure out what happened. There's this journey she goes on, and the woman that I play has sort of of been through that herself and she's bringing wisdom even though she has her own secrets, too.
It was an interesting experience stepping into this world. It was a journey and an adventure to read through the script from beginning to end and see what was going to happen. There's this external thing of trying to survive and do right - that's always a good message to convey to young people. That's something we deal with as teenagers that are coming of age, when you don't have the answers. So, that was what initially what drew me to this story, and always, relationships with the creative team has been a huge part for me. The writer is the grandson of the original "Left Behind" series creator, so when the director reached out to me, I knew I wanted to get involved. I truly enjoyed working on it.
GH: Where you familiar with the "Left Behind" series before working on this film?
RH: I was introduced to "Left Behind" when I was younger, during my early teenage years. My dad read all the novels, so he had hardback versions on our bookshelves. I was curious - I read the first "Left Behind" when I was young, and was like, 'This is interesting, this is a fictional story based on a worldview that I am living in, a worldview that belongs to me and believers all around." It was certainly the first time I was introduced to fiction and creativity wrapped in the Christian worldview, and it was interesting how that has changed and we have access to those things.
GH: How did you grow and change personally or spiritually throughout the filming of "Vanished"?
RH: I was on set for two days, so it was definitely a pop-in and pop-out kind of thing. I've had some experiences where you dive into a character and you really have the time and the ability to do that. However, when you have a smaller role, it's harder to take away a profound experience. But, on this film set, everyone involved was trying to share a worldview of caring and loving people and selfless acts, while also doing excellent work and caring about the product as well as the process. I was thrust into a set where I felt heard and respected and honored - even to come into it for a short amount of time. That is what matters in this industry; it's how we tell stories and how we set people up to do their job well. I was set up to do my job well, and that's credit to an air of professionalism that came along with the team.
GH: What do you want audiences to take away from "Vanished"?
RH: I think one thing that resonates with me is when you watch a film - you find a way to insert yourself into the screen. You turn off your phone and you pay money to sit and be still for two hours because cinema is such an impactful experience - we enter enter a world that isn't ours. When we take something away, it's because we were able to, on some level, identify with the main character. My hope, with any film I have my name on, is that you walk away feeling heard and understand and not alone in your struggles. Some other human being that you just walked with for two hours has also been there. That' is the magic, and that's why we take the time to step into space and turn off our own world. We're seeing ourselves on this screen, because there's a lot that we could relate to if we were faced with such a situation.
GH: This film will obviously resonate with the faith-based audience, but why should non-believers see it?
RH: There's a lot of ways I can answer that question. Good films ask good questions, they don't give you the answers. We're not spoon-fed a lot of answer in this film, we're also journeying with [the protagonists] and I think the experience of being on a quest or searching for answers is something we can all relate to on some level, no matter our religion. And that is what good films do, they present simple scenarios that allow we as a viewers to feel something. Hopefully, we walk away feeling a little bit better than before and ultimately seek out the answer outside the film.
You care about the people involved in the film, those who are lost, because you've found a way to also be them. There's a lot of psychologically in film; you are a human being who has a heart and mind and can walk away asking, "What is it that I believe and why? And what would I do it if it were me?"
The cast of "Vanished" also includes Amber Frank (Nickelodeon's "Haunted Hathaways"); Dylan Sprayberry (MTV's "Teen Wolf," "Man of Steel"); and Mason Dye (MTV's "Finding Carter," Lifetime TV's "Flowers in the Attic"); along with veteran actors Tom Everett Scott ("That Thing You Do," "American Werewolf in Paris"); Jackson Hurst ("Drop Dead Diva"); and Brigid Brannagh ("Army Wives," "Underground").
For more information on "Vanished: Left Behind: Next Generation" visit the vanished film.com.