The Director of "The Chosen" Calls Filming of Big Scene "Exhausting" and "Extraordinary"
Jesus' miraculous feeding of the 5,000 is now in the can and the hit streaming show is tentatively looking at an end-of-the-year release for Season 3.
The cast and crew of The Chosen will take a three-week break from production after filming wraps up today in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. It will no doubt be a welcome hiatus, coming as it does on the heels of the grueling production last week of Jesus' feeding of the 5,000, the famous miracle featured in all four New Testament Gospels.
The scene took three days to shoot, according to show creator/director Dallas Jenkins, who says that, with temperatures above 90-degrees and more than 10,000 people on location, it was "exhausting." Lead actor Jonathan Roumie preaches to the crowd in the scene and, reflecting the portrayal of the story in the Bible, then miraculously turns five loaves of bread and two fish into enough to feed the enormous crowd; fellow actors who play the disciples proceed to distribute the bounty and Jenkins is pleased with how it turned out.
"This past week has been easily, without a close second, the most difficult, but yet also rewarding week in the show's history, and probably in my entire career."
The Christian director - who had requested prayer for the scene, as we reported here - adds that conditions were such that several people were overcome with heat exhaustion and needed treatment from medical personnel on hand, and he himself was even "struggling" at one point and needed to "sit down." Mercifully, no one suffered any serious complications, but Jenkins says he "would not lean toward" doing any more massive scenes like this going forward.
Speaking of which, he announced that he hopes to be able to start releasing Season 3 in November or December and that the first two episodes may well debut in theaters. That is still to be finalized, but the successful theatrical run of last year's Christmas special has him and his partners seriously pursuing it.
The 46-year-old father of four, who is celebrating his 24th wedding anniversary today with wife Amanda, plans to spend these next three weeks in an edit suite, making sure the first two episodes are on pace to be ready for that possible release on the silver screen. Jenkins is also planning to head to Utah during the next phase of production, where they shot large portions of Season 2.
The theme for this coming season, according to Jenkins, is "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest," based on the words Jesus speaks in Matthew 11:28. That would seem to be a verse that is particularly apropos for the director, his team and those thousands of extras that took part in last week's taxing scene.
Christian Film Blog will continue to bring you updates on production of Season 3 of The Chosen as we get them. In the meantime, if you'd like to watch a recording of Jenkins' livestream, you can do so below. It runs about two hours and features several of the actors, and Amanda, joining him to share their thoughts on the show in general and the feeding of the 5,000 in particular.