The Passion, Fox’s Bible-based live musical airing next month, has cast Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Seal as Pontius Pilate. He joins host and narrator Tyler Perry and cast members Jencarlos Canela (Jesus Christ), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Prince Royce (the disciple Peter) and Trisha Yearwood (Mary, the mother of Jesus). The special will air live from New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20.
Written by Peter Barsocchini (High School Musical), The Passion tells the story of the last hours of Jesus’ life on Earth. It uses passages from the Bible and a variety of popular music — sung by the cast and arranged specifically for the live special by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders (Glee). Set in modern day, The Passion follows Jesus as he presides over the Last Supper and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate and convicted, crucified and ultimately resurrected.
The special will be staged live at signature New Orleans locations, with a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot illuminated cross from outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
London-born multiplatinum singer-songwriter Seal broke out in the early 1990s with the international hit with “Crazy” and later topped the U.S. chart with “Kiss From A Rose,” which was included on the Batman Forever soundtrack. The track won three Grammys including Record and Song of the Year. In November, Seal released his ninth album, 7, which reunites him with his longtime collaborator, producer Trevor Horn.
The Passion, based on a format originally created in the Netherlands by Eye2Eye Media’s Jacco Doornbos, is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco, Doornbos, Adam Anders and David Grifhorst executive produce. Robert Deaton (CMA Awards) serves as executive producer and showrunner.