Netflix is having a come-to-Jesus moment.
The streamer has ordered to series Messiah, a 10-episode drama “exploring the lines among religion, faith and politics,” from exec producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The modern-day epic, created by Michael Petroni (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), is set for release sometime in 2019.
In the series, a mysterious figure surfaces in the Middle East and cultivates a large following who believe him to be the Messiah. This in turn begs the question, “Is he sent from God, or is he a dangerous fraud bent on dismantling the world’s geopolitical order?” The official logline suggests that the story will be told from the perspective of both believers and skeptics. Among them are a young CIA agent, an Israeli Shin Bet officer, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter, a Palestinian refugee and the media.
“Messiah promises to be a fascinating series for viewers of every faith, and a thrilling drama filled with multi-layered characters set on a global stage,” Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content for Netflix, said in a statement.
Added Burnett and Downey, “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 governments collapse? It’s a series that could change everything.”
Burnett and Downey have a proven track record in faith-based programming. Previous producing credits include the History channel miniseries The Bible, as well as its NBC follow-up A.D.: The Bible Continues. On the big screen, they produced 2014’s Son of God the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur.
Andrew Deane (1999’s Joan of Arc miniseries) and James McTeigue (Sense8) will serve as EPs alongside Petroni, Burnett and Downey. McTeigue is also on board to direct.