Fox announced plans for their next live musical, The Passion of the Christ, set to air on Palm Sunday. Hosted and narrated by actor, writer, producer, director and New Orleans native Tyler Perry ("The Haves and The Have Nots," "Gone Girl"), the special will feature a cast of today's biggest stars (to be announced) performing a variety of popular music, arranged by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders ("Glee," "Rock of Ages").
"The Passion is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational," Fox Entertainment president David Madden tells Deadline. "Tyler Perry is the perfect host to lead the cast - and viewers - through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story."
According to the Wall Street Journal, this telling of The Passion is inspired by an annual production that started in 2011 in the Netherlands by Eye2Eye Media, which is serving as a producer for the Fox production along with Dick Clark Productions and Anders Media Inc.
Set in modern day, THE PASSION will follow the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected. The story will unfold live at some of New Orleans' most iconic locations, while featuring a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Tyler Perry is an established American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, author and philanthropist. He started his career writing plays, many of which later became the inspiration for his film projects and included the introduction of the iconic character, "Madea." Perry's first feature film, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," debuted at No. 1 nationwide in 2005. In the 10 years since, the 16 films directed by Perry have all been met with massive commercial success and grossed nearly $2 billion. He has also stepped on the other side of the camera for other directors, including David Fincher for "Gone Girl" and Rob Cohen for "Alex Cross."
In late 2012, Perry partnered with Oprah Winfrey to bring scripted programming to her cable network, creating "For Better or Worse," "Love Thy Neighbor," "If Loving You is Wrong" and "The Haves and The Have Nots." Perry will be seen next on the big screen in the sequel to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and in "Brain on Fire," opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.
THE PASSION is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro (CEO, dick clark productions), Mike Mahan (President, dick clark productions), Mark Bracco (Executive Vice President, Programing and Development, dick clark productions), Jacco Doornbos (CEO and Creative Director of Eye2Eye Media), Adam Anders (CEO, Anders Media Inc.) and David Grifhorst ("The Passion: Netherlands") will serve as executive producers. Robert Deaton ("CMA Awards") also will serve as executive producer and showrunner.