Mali Music, Grammy-nominated Christian recording artist, headlines a new musical presentation on the life of Jesus Christ titled Revival! The Experience, a "mixed media virtual experience" that is expected to be released in theaters sometime this year.
A teaser trailer for Revival! The Experience reveals the new project as being in the vein of the iconic 1973 British musical Jesus Christ Superstar — with "a splash of The Wiz," according to creators. The project is based on the Gospel of John's account of Jesus Christ.
The new project has been described by creators as "dramatizing supremely constructed original contemporary and gospel music that helps recount the mission, ministry and miracles of Jesus."
Revival: The Experience, unlike other mainstream projects about the life of Jesus Christ, features a predominantly-black cast and a long list of well-known actors and recording artists. But it is 27-year-old Mali Music, born Kortney Jamaal Pollard, who appears to shine in his role as perhaps the most notable figure to have ever walked the earth.
In the one-minute trailer for Revival! The Experience, Mali Music, playing the Son of God, is presented essentially just as he appears in real life, wearing a close-cropped haircut and a mid-length beard. The popular singer-songwriter and producer's appearance in Revival! The Experience is an obvious contrast to other popular presentations of a Caucasian, long-haired Jesus.
The recording artist, making his acting debut in Revival! The Experience, is seen in the wilderness, where, according to the New Testament account, he confronts the devil (in this case, Lucifer played by 14-year-old actor Griffin Gluck or Satan played by Ahmed Ahmed). There are also scenes of Jesus being baptized, struggling with the cross to his execution, and being confronted by religious authorities.
Mali Music emerged early in his career as an inspirational, or gospel artist. He eventually transitioned from the gospel genre and released his first mainstream and Grammy-nominated album in July 2014, titled Mali Is… under RCA Records. Mali Music stated, however, that he remains "grateful for and focused on (his) assignment from God."
Other key players in Revival! The Experience include Henry Lennix (Man of Steel, Ray, The Matrix Revolutions), as Pontius Pilate, the Roman leader who hands down Jesus' execution order; Obba Babatundé (Silence of the Lambs) as Nicodemus; former Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalen; singing legend Chaka Khan as Herodias; and Anthony Azizi (Eagle Eye, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) as Judas Iscariot.
Obba Babatunde (Miss Evers' Boys, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and Danny Green (Mr. Sophistication) serve as directors on Revival! The Experience. Lennix and Holly Carter (producer of "Preachers of L.A.") are credited with the screenplay, and also as producers in addition to David C. Waite (Xponent Media, Releve Entertainment and Jupiter Films).
"'REVIVAL!' is a project that has lived in my heart for many years," says Lennix in a press release. "It espouses a message of love and courage, something that can help comfort all of us as we process the chaos of daily life."
Carter adds, "This project brings moments of the Bible alive in a way that is awe inspiring, entertaining and maybe even life changing. It offers an incredible biblical and musical experience for audiences yearning for more inspirational storytelling."
A specific release date for Revival! The Experience was not yet made available.
Watch the trailer for Revival! The Experience in the video player below: