Movies Politics
Rick Santorum Chris Carlson/AP Photo

Former Republican presidential candidate and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign stop at the Central Impact Shooting Range, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 in Boone, Iowa.

October 15, 2016

Rick Santorum produced a new movie

Pennsylvania's former U.S. senator goes Hollywood

If you're like me and wake up most mornings wondering what Rick Santorum is up to, I've got an important update: Pennsylvania's former U.S. senator and two-time Republican presidential candidate has been working on his movie career.

Santorum was executive producer for the new film "Vanished," which comes from Santorum's EchoLight Studios and premiered for a one-night only screening at various theaters in September. In addition to showing his support of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Twitter after dropping out of the race and giving his "meh" endorsement of The Donald, Santorum has been promoting the movie, which will be available for digital download on Nov. 1.

The movie is loosely based on a book from the "Left Behind" franchise, a series of Christian novels and subsequent movies that depict the aftermath of the apocalypse. Here's a synopsis, via the film's website:

When a billion people around the world suddenly vanish, headstrong 15-year-old Gabby is thrust into adulthood way too soon. The event forces Gabby, along with her younger sister Claire and the two teen boys vying for Gabby's affection, Josh and Flynn - to try to figure out what has happened and how they fit into this dangerous new world.

The movie bills itself as a "A fresh and modern 'coming-of-age-during-the-apocalypse' story for the post 'Twilight' generation." Here's the trailer:

Author Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" series has been wildly successful, although the theology behind the books has been called into question by some Christian critics, including some who have accused the stories of being anti-Catholic.

Santorum has actually been in the movie business for a few years now: He took over the Dallas-based EchoLight Studios in 2013. PhillyMag's Dan McQuade ranked a few of the studios' films when Santorum became CEO of the company.

Besides promoting the new film, Santorum hasn't been completely absent from politics since his February exit from the GOP primaries. Trump appointed Santorum, known for his conservative stances on issues like gay marriage and abortion, to his Catholic Advisory Group in September, a group formed to inform Trump on "issues and policies important to Catholics and other Christians."


UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that Santorum has been CEO of EchoLight Studios since 2013 and that "Vanished" is not the former senator's first foray into the film industry.