I’ve written a lot about The Chosen, the first multi-season series about Jesus, over the past four years, and I’ll have a lot more to say about it in the future. But now there’s another multi-season Bible-based series in the works — and, like The Chosen, it’s looking for crowd-funders.
The new series is called The Covenant, and it’s going to tell stories from across the Old Testament. Since the Old Testament covers hundreds, if not thousands, of years of history, the series will presumably be more of an anthology than a single storyline spread out over multiple episodes — and indeed, it sounds like the stories won’t even be told in chronological order. The plan right now is to start with the story of Daniel, who lived in the 6th century BC, possibly a thousand years or more after the time of Abraham.
A press release describes the show’s approach to the material:
Each episode of The Covenant tells the stories of saints and sinners, prophets and patriarchs, and kings and conquerors. By showing the glory and grit of beloved characters like Daniel, Abraham, Ruth and Esther and others, this series will create shared experiences across faiths and bring people back to stories that matter. . . .
Unlike other depictions of the Old Testament, The Covenant is rooted in biblical and historical text to honor the stories and characters without manipulating their nature or the meaning of their experiences. The Covenant will represent the stories within their ancient contexts, not through the views of any specific religious tradition. This approach will allow every viewer to connect with the stories they know and love.
The series is being directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, who I interviewed a few years ago when he directed the Jesus-as-a-boy movie The Young Messiah — and the first episode, at least, is being written by crime novelist and podcaster Andrew Klavan. The production team has already scouted locations in Ouarzazate, Morocco, which I visited seven years ago when Killing Jesus and A.D. The Bible Continues were being filmed there.
Nowrasteh and Klavan took part in a 52-minute webinar last week that you can watch on the show’s website. They and their producers are currently hoping to raise $5 million to get the show off the ground, using the same crowd-funding approach that The Chosen has used — and in fact, Cayo Films, the production company behind The Covenant, is headed by Ron Daw, who was the chief financial officer for The Chosen in its early days.
And on that note…
The Chosen finished releasing its second season a few months ago, and it is still raising money for its third. To that end, the producers revealed last month that anyone who contributes at least $999.99 to the next season will have the opportunity to be an extra in a scene depicting the Feeding of the 5,000 (the only miracle that appears in all four gospels; cf. Mark 6:31-44, Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-14).
So, if you want to get your name in the credits of a Bible-based series, you now have two — not one, but two — opportunities to do so.
You can watch a teaser for The Covenant here (I believe all the dramatic footage is from The Young Messiah, which was filmed in Italy, not Morocco, for what it’s worth):
And you can hear The Chosen writer-director Dallas Jenkins talk about how to be part of the Feeding the 5,000 scene in this August 22 livestream:
— The image at the top of this post is from the concept art for The Covenant.