The limited engagement event kicks off December 1st in theaters around the nation.
Originally planned for just two days, Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers was expanded to ten days because of record-breaking demand, as we reported here. The special will feature a new episode of this hit show about the life of Christ, and then transition into a Christmas concert with 12 different Christian acts, including For King & Country, Jordan Feliz and Phil Wickham.
The Christmas episode tells the Nativity story as seen from the perspective of Mary and Joseph, who are played by Sara Anne and Raj Bond. They are the same actors who played those characters in The Shepherd, the 2017 short that launched The Chosen.
In a livestream last night, show creator and director Dallas Jenkins gave fans a sneak peek. The scene shows the couple traveling to Bethlehem, where Mary will of course give birth to Jesus. She is riding on a donkey, as you can see in the top picture, that Joseph is leading down a dusty road filled with other travelers. The two of them discuss incoveniences of the journey, the momentous things that have taken place recently in their lives - including angelic visits - and Joseph's decision not to divorce Mary over her surprise pregnancy.
The scene runs more than five and a half minutes and has one unbroken steadicam shot that goes on for almost five minutes of that, which is no mean feat for cast and crew to pull off with no edits. It is particularly challenging to shoot while moving on an uneven and sloped road with lots of dialogue, not to mention having one actor riding, dismounting and remounting a donkey, of all animals. You can watch the clip here; it hits at the 1:21:30 mark in the nearly two-hour YouTube video.
Also in that livestream, Jenkins admitted to becoming emotional during filming of the scene because of the significance of the journey it recreated. He added that the Christmas episode will feature two story lines: everything involving the Nativity and Mary's retelling of it some 50 years after the transcendent event.
The director gave an update on season three of The Chosen as well, saying it is now nearly fully funded and he hopes to begin filming by spring of next year. Jenkins and his team are currently finishing the writing, including the final episode, which will feature Jesus' miraculous feeding of the 5,000.
Back to the Christmas special, it will run in theaters from December 1st through the 10th and you can get tickets from Fathom Events via this link to their website. Jenkins will attend a couple of Texas showings in person: on December 1st at 7:00 PM at the Cinemark 12 in Mansfield, and on December 2nd at the Cinemark West Plano and XD, in the town of Plano, also starting at 7:00 PM; he will be joined at the Mansfield event by Christian musician Phil Wickham, who is one of the artists performing in the concert portion of the Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers.