- (Photo: Grace Hill Media)
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have offered a sneak peek of the upcoming television series "The Bible" this week.
Married since 2007, the couple conceived the idea for the series based on Scripture three years ago.
"I've loved Jesus all my life," Downey told The Christian Post. "It's a passion project for Mark and myself."
Downey, best known for her role on "Touched By An Angel," explained that casting for "The Bible" would have been impossible without prayer.
"Casting began with prayer," the actress said, noting the challenge and significance of selecting the perfect actor to fill the role of Jesus in the series.
"We had been scouting locations in Morocco and were 'looking for Jesus,'" the actress quipped. "Six weeks before filming began, we still didn't have Jesus."
Fortunately, Downey and Burnett came across the name of Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado.
"He is a beautiful person," Burnett told CP of the actor. "He has a gentleness and humanity about him."
As the producer of major hit shows including "Survivor" and "The Voice," Burnett has first-hand knowledge of how to create compelling television.
"'The Bible' is going to be seen by millions of people, and it looks like a $100 million feature film," said the creator of "The Apprentice."
Hans Zimmer, who has worked on music for films such as "The Dark Knight Rises," provided the musical score for "The Bible," while researchers and theologians were consulted on every part of the script.
Although Burnett remained mum on the exact budget for "The Bible," the television producer noted that he and Downey "earned it."
"My husband thinks that the word 'no' means 'new opportunity," Downey continued to explain of Burnett's perseverance to raise the money and make the series. "This will go out into the corners of the world and we are very humbled by it."
Meanwhile, by allowing CP to preview segments of "The Bible" on Thursday, Burnett and Downey revealed a colorful, captivating take on some of the most important stories in the Christian religion.
The series sees stars such as "Game of Thrones" actors Sean Bean and Nonso Anozie, while Roma Downey herself portrays Mary, the mother of Jesus.
While sometimes violent, "The Bible" offers visually enchanting depictions of well-known and beloved Biblical characters. Noah's Ark, the Exodus, Abraham, and the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are among the Bible stories covered in the highly-anticipated television series.
Moreover, the 10-hour series will bridge the Old Testament with the New Testament, or as Burnett said, "from Genesis to Revelation" with several in-depth portrayals of Bible stories.
It is the hope of Downey and Burnett that "The Bible" can become a template for learning and added to curriculums the world over.
"A great story that happens to be our faith," concluded Burnett while speaking to CP about the series.
"The Bible" is set to air on The History Channel following its current and final stage of editing, with the last episode in the series airing on Easter Sunday.