‘The Chosen’ Christmas special 'Holy Night' now showing in theaters nationwide

Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in 'The Chosen.'
Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in "The Chosen." | Screengrab: YouTube/The Chosen

The popular series "The Chosen" has released its third Christmas special, "Christmas with The Chosen: Holy Night," now showing in theatres nationwide. 

The Christmas special runs through Dec. 17 and features special guest performances by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli, Matt Maher, Zach Williams, the Bonner Family, Brandon Lake, One Voice Children’s Choir and Joy to the World.

The fictional drama is based on the life of Jesus and his disciples, and the Christmas special blends "The Shepherd," the pilot episode of the series, with "The Messenger."

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The special features footage filmed by series creator Dallas Jenkins that was part of a church-related project he never anticipated showing beyond the walls of his house of worship.

“Over six years ago, I made a little short film on my friend’s farm in Illinois. Entitled: ‘The Shepherd.’ It was about the birth of Christ from the perspective of the shepherds and it was only intended for my church’s Christmas Eve service. It ultimately ended up launching ‘The Chosen,’” said Jenkins in an Instagram post announcing the special last month. 

“A few years later, with many more resources, we did 'The Messengers,' a special episode about the birth of Christ from the perspective of Mary and Joseph," he said of the 2021 Christmas special that grossed $13.8 million at the U.S. box office. 

"This year, I had an interesting idea … what [if] we combine the two? I didn’t think it would work great, but it might be an interesting experiment,” he added. 

“When Amanda and I saw the first rough cut, we were so moved. It does work, and the nativity story took on even more relevance. … I can’t wait for you to see it in theaters and ultimately start a new Christmas tradition.”

The fourth season of "The Chosen" will be released in theaters starting on Feb. 1, 2024, and subsequently released on a variety of streaming platforms, including the free Chosen app. 

The series has received high praise based on its production value and how the scripts follow the lives of Jesus' disciples based in part on biblical text and fictional storylines added to depict these historical accounts and draw viewers' interest in learning more about the Savior by cracking open their Bible. 

Katherine Warnock, vice president of original content, told The Dallas Morning News, “the hope is that the new special reminds viewers of the meaning behind the Christmas season.” 

“Our hope is that families, friends, communities will be able to gather and have that time together where they’re like, ‘OK, we’re reminded about what this season is about, and we’re thankful,'" she added. 

“This is what we need in Hollywood. We need that raw, authentic, gritty, low production value mixed with the beauty of high production value. There’s something so human about it. It’s not perfect, but it’s delightful.”

A statement promoting the Christmas special on "The Chosen" website added: 

Some things just go together. Rhythm and blues. Oreos and milk. Fall and football. Hugs and kisses. And how about ‘The Shepherd’ and ‘The Messengers?’ You know, the two Chosen Christmas specials? Of course they go together. But here’s the thing: they’ve actually never been together.

Until now. Call it regifting if you like, but we’ve taken these episodes from Christmas past and woven them together (wreath-like) into your Christmas present. Freshly recut and remastered, the two are now one seamless story about the birth of Jesus. 'Christmas with The Chosen: Holy Night.' And they’re coming to a theater near you this holiday season.

Combining the best of old and new, we’ve also worked in six of your favorite musical performances from the past, leading to a first-time-ever performance by Andrea Bocelli and his son, Matteo. Tickets are available now at Fathom Events.

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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