Fox’s ‘The Passion Live’ Has Cast Its Jesus and Judas (UPDATED)


On Palm Sunday, March 20, on Fox, Tyler Perry is host and narrator for “The Passion,” a live (in Central and Eastern time zones; tape-delayed on the West Coast), a two-hour “musical event” depicting Christ’s trial and crucifixion.

Here’s how a Fox press release described it:

THE PASSION, written by Peter Barsocchini (“High School Musical”), tells the 2000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on earth through passages from the Bible and a variety of popular music, sung by the cast, and arranged specifically for this event by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”). Set in modern day, the event 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 event 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 outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenberg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Click here for a story I did earlier this month, featuring some history and comments from the producers at a press event in Pasadena.

Country star Trisha Yearwood was previously announced as playing the Virgin Mary (and one of her songs will be Whitney Houston’s “My Love Is Your Love”). Bronx-born singer Geoffrey Royce Rojas, who goes by Prince Royce, has been cast as the Apostle Peter.Chris-Daughtry-The-Passion

During the press event, the producers also said that the Imagine Dragons song “Demons” would be used as the score to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Now we know who’ll be singing both parts in that.

As announced today, playing Jesus is singer/songwriter and actor (“Telenovela”) Jencarlos Canela (pictured at top), a Miami native who has released albums in both Spanish and English.

Playing Judas is “American Idol” competitor, Grammy-nominated singer and actor Chris Daughtry (at right).

Click here to see the first video promo.

Images: Courtesy Fox

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  • Bonnie Rodgers

    The Passion is amazing! CatholicTV has been airing the 2011 version for the past few Lenten seasons and I am thrilled that it’s coming LIVE to the US!