Idol Chatter

Netflix_2015_logoNetflix has officially given the green light for development of the religious drama “Messiah.” The series was created by writer Michael Petroni and producer Mark Burnett. Petroni and Burnett will both executive produce along with Roma Downey, Andrew Deane and James McTeigue. McTeigue will direct.

News of the series’ development broke in March 2017, and more information regarding the plot was released following Netflix’s official acceptance of the project. The religious drama will chronicle the reaction of the modern world to the sudden appearance of a potential messiah who seems to be performing miracles. This supposed messiah appears in the Middle East and creates a groundswell of followers who claim he truly is the Messiah. The characters currently known include a young CIA agent, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter, an Israeli Shin Bet officer and a Palestinian refuge. The 10 episode story will unfold from multiple points of view. All five characters are currently expected to be point of view characters. The series is also set to explore how the media would handle the appearance of a potential messiah.

Petroni stated that the series will leave viewers struggling with the same questions that the characters in the show are attempting to answer onscreen. “‘Messiah’ will have every viewer asking the question ‘Is he or isn’t he?’ How you answer that question may reveal more about you than it does about the show,” Petroni said. “‘Messiah’ challenges us to examine what we believe and why.”

Downey and Burnett are also looking forward to the series and the discussions it will stimulate among viewers. “‘Messiah’ is a series that will have the audience asking big questions,” Burnett and Downey said. “What if someone showed up in 2018 amid strange occurrences and was thought to be the Messiah? What would society do? How would the media cover him? Would millions simply quit work? Could governments collapse? It’s a series that could change everything.”

Burnett and Downey have a history of successful faith-based programming. They produced the History Channel hit miniseries “The Bible” and its NBC follow up “A.D.: The Bible Continues” as well as big screen projects such as “Son of God” and the 2016 remake of “Ben-Hur.” The married couple also involved others with proven success records. Petroni was the screenwriter for the movie adaptations of the beloved books “The Book Thief” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” and director James McTeigue has proven his mettle with the movie “V for Vendetta” and the TV show “Sense 8.”

The religious drama is set to premier in 2019 with 10 hour-long episodes, and Burnett and Downey have stated their intention to have the series explore “the lines among religious, faith and politics.” Despite Burnett and Downey’s evangelical Christian background, Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content for Netflix, has stated that the show will not be aimed purely at Christians. “‘Messiah’ promises to be a fascinating series for viewers of every faith,” Holland said in a statement. “[It looks to be] a thrilling drama filled with multi-layered characters set on a global stage.”

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