ATLANTA — The cast and crew of “The Chosen” reflected on the universal impact the show is having on viewers, influencing everyone from non-believers to Gen Z with its compelling storytelling, timely storylines and biblical accuracy.
“The thing that sets ['The Chosen'] apart is how real and authentic all of these characters feel, how human they are, how flawed they are,” Jordan Walker Ross, who plays the role of Little James, one of Jesus’ apostles, told The Christian Post at the teal carpet premiere of “The Chosen” season three at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. In the show, Little James suffers from cerebral palsy and scoliosis, which makes him limp.
“I think one great thing about Gen Z is they're open to having these difficult conversations and asking the tough questions, and ‘The Chosen’ is the same. ‘The Chosen’ asks a lot of really difficult questions, like, ‘Why am I not being healed, but other people are?’ And I think that that resonates, and I think that Gen Z is a generation of thinkers and questioners and ‘The Chosen’ definitely leans into that. I hope that it has a lifelong impact on them.”
The first two episodes of the third season of “The Chosen” hit the big screen on Friday, kicking off a five-day theatrical release in more than 2,000 theaters worldwide. The theatrical event for “The Chosen” finished domestically at No. 3 with a staggering $8.75 million in sales on opening weekend.
The crowdfunded Angel Studios production first premiered in 2019, and season two in 2021, both on streaming services. The series, which brings to the big screen a dramatization of the ministry of Jesus and His disciples, has been applauded for its biblical accuracy and compelling storytelling.
Derral Eves, co-founder of “The Chosen,” told CP that he’s heard from countless young people how the show has impacted them. He said he’s anticipating that season three, which focuses on Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” — will resonate on an even greater level.
“With Gen Z, I see one of the most amazing generations that ever walked the face of the Earth. They just need to identify, they need to know where they identify. And my heart is that they are able to see that what they're craving is something authentic, something true, and very disruptive. And that's what Jesus taught,” he said.
“I think we're on the verge of seeing a revolution, where people are going to come behind Jesus like we've never seen before. And it's that generation, Gen Z, that is going to make that happen … they know how to assemble, they know how to communicate, they know how to share, and the world really needs to know the Gospel of what Jesus actually taught because in the world we're living in right now, there's a lot of issues.”
Dallas Jenkins, director and creator “The Chosen,” stressed that the series is for everyone, not just followers of Christ. Even viewers who don’t believe in Jesus, he said, are drawn to the show due to its cinematic excellence.
“I know many, many people who aren’t believers that watch the show and love it,” he said. “I think the teachings of Jesus — whether or not you believe that He was the Son of God — what He did totally changed the world.”
Already, season three of “The Chosen” is seeing incredible success, and showrunners don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Neal Harmon, the CEO of Angel Studios, told CP they’re planning seven seasons and fundraising $100 million with the goal of reaching 1 billion people with “The Chosen” by 2027.
“We always believed that we could get to a seven-season series around this, and we always believed that we could build a movement as we saw the reception and the hunger,” he told CP.
“We set our sights very high for reaching a billion people by 2027 with ‘The Chosen,’ and that's an ambitious goal, we believe it's possible. We believe that the hunger and the need is out there. But we've really got to work hard to get there.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org