Netflix teams with Mark Burnett & Roma Downey on Messiah

ad-markroma

I’ve been wondering if streaming services like Netflix and Amazon would get around to hopping on the “faith-based” TV-series bandwagon. As of today, it seems the answer is “yes”, thanks to an upcoming collaboration between Netflix and the “faith-based” power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, whose credits include the History Channel’s The Bible and NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues.

The series they’re developing with Netflix is called Messiah, and according to Variety, it “would be set in the modern day and tell the story of the world’s reaction to a man who appears to be performing miracles in the Middle East.”

It is not clear to me whether the miracle-performing man in question is supposed to be Jesus or, if he is supposed to be Jesus, whether this is supposed to be a second-coming-of-Jesus story or one of those stories (like The Judas Project) that imagines what it would have been like if Jesus had come in the present day.

Burnett and Downey will have an executive producer credit along with Andrew Deane, but the actual creator of Messiah is Michael Petroni, who previously created the ABC series Miracles in addition to writing the screenplays for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the exorcism drama The Rite.

Deadline notes that the series has not been greenlit yet, and that it came to light this week only because it was approved for over $7 million in California tax credits.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).