'Messiah' News: Netflix picks up new Christian series produced by Roma Downey, Mark Burnett
Netflix has announced that it has picked up a new Christian series titled "Messiah," a modern-day Biblical drama produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.
The new faith-based series, which was first put into development in March, would narrate how the modern world reacts to a man who first appears in the Middle East and draws a large following who believe him to be the Messiah.
The story will unfold from multiple perspectives, which include a young CIA agent, an Israeli Shin Bet officer, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter, a Palestinian refugee, and the media.
"Messiah" was created by Michael Petroni, who has previously worked on "The Book Thief" and the ABC drama "Miracles." He is also responsible for writing the screenplay for the feature film adaptaion of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and the 2011 Anthony Hopkins exorcism horror-drama "The Rite."
"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. Messiah challenges us to examine what we believe and why," Petroni said according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Petroni, who wrote the first episode, also serves as an executive producer alongside Burnett, Downey, Andrew Deane of Industry Entertainment and James McTeigue.
Deadline reported in March that the series has been approved for a $7.5 million California tax credit in the new series category. It was one of only five projects that received the incentive in the new series field.
Downey and Burnett have a proven track record in producing faith-based programming, including the History channel miniseries "The Bible," which was seen by more than 100 million people in the U.S.
On the big screen, the couple was responsible for producing 2014's "Son of God" and the 2016 remake of "Ben-Hur." Burnett, who serves as the president of MGM Television, is also known for reality TV hits such as "Survivor," "The Apprentice" and "Shark Tank."
"Messiah is a series that will have the audience asking big questions. 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 government's collapse? It's a series that could change everything," Downey and Burnett said in a statement.
Netflix will be producing the 10-episode drama without involvement from MGM Television. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first episode will be released globally in 2019.