Casting news for The Dovekeepers, but what about A.D.?

diegobonetaVarious sites, including Variety, reported this week that Mexican actor Diego Boneta has been cast as one of the main male characters in The Dovekeepers, an upcoming miniseries about four Jewish women who live in the fortress of Masada when it is besieged by the Romans following the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Boneta joins the Chilean-born Cote De Pablo, who was cast as one of the four Jewish women last month.

The Dovekeepers is being produced for CBS by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who had a huge success last year with The Bible and again this year with its big-screen spin-off, Son of God. All this casting news for The Dovekeepers gets me wondering… when will we hear any casting news for A.D., the follow-up to The Bible that Burnett and Downey are producing for NBC?

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The Bible follow-up A.D. to premiere next Easter

A.D., the follow-up to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s hit mini-series The Bible, now has an airdate. NBC announced today that the 12-hour series will premiere on Easter Sunday next year, i.e. April 5. That makes sense, since the series will begin with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus — territory already covered at some length by The Bible — before it proceeds to show how the Church grew beyond that point. No word on who will star in it yet.

Quick updates on A.D. and The Dovekeepers

Son of God producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett gave lots of interviews in the days leading up to that film’s theatrical release, and in a few of those interviews, they dropped a few hints about their follow-up projects A.D. and The Dovekeepers, both of which will also take place in first-century Palestine. Here’s a quick summary of what they’ve said.

First, in chronological terms, A.D. will start at the crucifixion of Jesus and cover the next 40 years of Jewish and Christian history, until the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, while The Dovekeepers will start with the destruction of the Temple and continue through to the Roman siege of Masada, which ended in AD 73. It’s not clear whether the two shows will air in chronological order — they’re being produced for different networks — but those are the historical periods they will cover.

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Darwin Shaw on playing St Peter (and a Lego Bond villain)

The apostle Peter is not the first biblical character that Darwin Shaw has played in his decade or so as an actor. You can see him briefly as Adam, in a new prologue to the Campus Crusade film Jesus (1979) that was shot a few years ago, and you can also see him as the “Semitic Jesus” in Gospel of Thomas (2009), an interactive adaptation of the Gnostic text that allows you to toggle between different actors. (Another actor plays the “Western Jesus”.)

But Peter is easily the biggest role of this sort that Shaw has tackled so far. He appears in all five of the New Testament-themed episodes in last year’s mini-series The Bible, and he will appear again this week in Son of God, the big-screen movie that consists mostly of footage from that mini-series but also includes a few new scenes.

I spoke to Shaw — whose credits also include Casino Royale (2006), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), John Carter (2012) and a deleted scene from Prometheus (2012) — by phone last week while he was in Los Angeles to promote Son of God.

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The Bible sequel A.D. gets the green light for spring 2015

I was just finishing my last post, which partly concerned Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s recent decision to produce a mini-series about the siege of Masada for CBS, when word came over the internet that NBC had greenlit one of their other projects: a 12-hour sequel to The Bible that was once called A.D.: Beyond the Bible but now simply goes by the name A.D.

I included a brief link to that press release in my previous post, but I think it merits a blog post all its own, since it includes a few new details about the mini-series.

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Newsbites: The first-century Jewish zealot edition!

Bit of a delayed reaction here, as I was under the weather when these two news items surfaced last week.

First, The Bible producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are producing an adaptation of The Dovekeepers, an Alice Hoffman novel that takes place during the siege of Masada, which marked the end of the First Jewish-Roman War in AD 73.

Burnett and Downey are already working on a sequel to The Bible that will mix the history of the early church with secular accounts of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans, etc. But it sounds like The Dovekeepers — which follows the stories of four women who end up at Masada during the siege — will focus more narrowly on the Jewish rebellion.

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