Tyler Perry built his career by creating musical productions and now he will use the same platform to help bring the last hours of Jesus Christ's life to the stage for "The Passion," which will air on FOX.
"I'm excited to host and narrate #ThePassionLive, a musical event that airs LIVE March 20 on FOX," the 46-year-old playwright, director, producer and actor tweeted.
The two-hour musical will take place in Perry's hometown of New Orleans, and bring a modern-day account of the story of Jesus of Nazareth, which will include famed biblical events like the Last Supper, his betrayal at the hands of Judas, his trial by Pontius Pilate, the crucifixion and resurrection.
Instead of being limited to one stage, the musical will journey in real-time throughout New Orleans in iconic locations where hundreds of people will carry the 20-foot cross of Jesus.
"THE PASSION is both wonderfully entertaining and genuinely inspirational," said David Madden, president, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, in a statement obtained by The Christian Post. "We are so thrilled to have the multi-talented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast – and viewers – through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story."
The musical will air on Palm Sunday, which executives close to the production hope can bring both Christian and secular audiences together before Easter.
"This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together," said Mark Bracco, EVP of Programming and Development for Dick Clark Productions.
Adam Anders, the music producer who has worked on "Glee" and "Rock of Ages," revealed that audiences will witness the story of Jesus being told like never before.
"THE PASSION is one of the most exciting and compelling projects that I have ever been involved with," said Anders in a statement. "I cannot wait to bring the greatest-story-ever-told to life through music, in a way that has never been heard before. To be able to create new arrangements of some of the biggest songs of all time to create a live film score is a creative dream for me."
While Perry has yet to detail how he got involved in the groundbreaking production, he has been vocal about his faith in the past, which have also been a vital part of many of his projects. He previously spoke about using his well-known matriarchal character Madea as a casual way to present God to people.
"What I found in plays is that this character — as irreverent as she is — is very disarming. She makes you very comfortable. So what I've used her as is as a tool to get people to laugh and relax so that I can talk about God, talk about faith, mention the name Jesus in my films," Perry previously told CBN. "And it has worked; it's served its purpose very well. I've seen lots of people who don't go to church, who have no concept of God, who have never really thought about it, begin to change their lives because of something that was said in the film or something the character invited them to see."