Since The Chosen debuted in 2017 it has quickly gained a reputation for revolutionising both the method and style of faith-based storytelling.
Funded by viewers and distributed through its own app and streaming platform, The Chosen tested new ways to engage audiences from the ground up, and what appetite they have for a narrative about Jesus and his disciples that extends beyond a verse-by-verse recreation of scripture.
With the release of Season 3 upon us, an expected four more in the pipeline, and almost 430 million views of current episodes to date, it’s fair to say the appetite is high.
“So many Jesus movies and miniseries before have focused on one thing,” director Dallas Jenkins said in an interview.
“They tend to go from Bible verse to Bible verse, miracle to miracle but we’re focusing on the backstories. We’re focusing on the relationships and the humanity of Jesus.
“Even though he does miracles – even though he’s clearly the Son of God and claims to be the Son of God – we are showing the human relationships and the authenticity.
“I think that allows [The Chosen] to feel different than what’s come before.”
Most ambitious season yet
In what’s the highest-scale scene of The Chosen so far, the third season will feature the “feeding of the 5000” – a shoot involving 12,000 extras and fans who had been invited from over 36 different countries to recreate Jesus’ famous miracle.
“This season fans will also see issues of mental illness, marital strain and disability being explored, as greater breadth is given to the reality of the ancient characters’ lives.”
During a visit to the Texas-based set, The Chosen costume department said that the extras “had to dress themselves” and did “a great job” emulating a first-century aesthetic.
“Season 3 is about the cost of following Jesus,” Dallas said.
“The disciples are expecting certain things: they’re followers of Jesus now, he’s the Messiah, when is he going to overthrow the Romans? When is he going to make their lives better?
“In some ways their lives are even harder than before they met Jesus [and] we explore that. We explore why Jesus heals some people and not others.
“A lot of difficult questions are raised in this season. We wanted to make sure that we portrayed the fact that when you’ve been chosen by Jesus that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been chosen to have an easy life.”
Episodes 1 and 2 of Season 3 will be debuting in select cinemas November 18, followed by the full season on The Chosen and Angel Studios apps.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.
All images: Show publicity
About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.