Dallas Jenkins Calls New Project ‘The Movie I Was Born To Make’
By Movieguide® Contributor
THE CHOSEN director Dallas Jenkins and his wife Amanda just announced his new project, THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, a movie adaptation of the “hilarious family-favorite” book by Barbara Robinson.
“Based on the beloved book and play, THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER centers on the Herdmans –absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. But this Christmas, they’re taking over their local church Pageant – and they just might unwittingly teach a shocked community the true meaning of Christmas,” Lionsgate said in a press release.
The movie will be directed by Jenkins, in production with Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company.
“This is the movie I was born to make. If I can only make one more movie my entire life, this is it,” Jenkins shared.
Jenkin’s passion for the movie stretches back 15 years when he and Amanda first read the book to their kids. “While reading it, they started weeping,” Desert News reported.
Throughout those 15 years, Jenkins would frequently touch base with the studio that held the rights in hopes that they would be released. Every week, he would pray for the movie when a “Pray for Pageant” reminder would pop up on his computer.
But after yet another “no,” he and his wife felt discouraged. They believed that the “no” was final. However, Amanda “got this overwhelming sense from the Lord that, ‘It’s on hold. Just don’t worry about it; I’ve got it on hold.’ And then, finally, the studio didn’t renew the rights, and Jenkins jumped on the opportunity.
In a video to fans, the couple showed their well-worn copy of the book with his notes scribbled in the back.
“It’s similar to what THE CHOSEN is trying to do, actually, to take the story of Christmas and the story of Jesus and take it down from stained glass windows and pretty paintings and Mary as this glowing halo angel holding a precious little baby and…revealing what it actually is in the eyes of these kids,” Jenkins shared with enthusiasm.
“With the incredible response to JESUS REVOLUTION, we are thrilled to continue working with our partners at Lionsgate to bring trusted and inspiring content to screen. With ORDINARY ANGELS and UNSUNG HERO releasing at the top of the year, we’re delighted to partner with Dallas Jenkins on THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, rounding out the year with a holiday film we’re confident will become a new family favorite,” Kingdom Story’s Kevin Downes said.
“The passion and vision Dallas has for this story is infectious – and to show him how we believe in the project as much as he does, we turned the Lionsgate restaurant into a holiday wonderland for him,” said Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s president of Production. “We believe he will deliver a holiday perennial that will be fun for the whole family next holiday season.”
The movie is slated for a holiday release in 2024.
Movieguide® previously announced one of Jenkin’s recent projects, THE CHOSEN’s Christmas special:
The new Christmas special, HOLY NIGHT, intertwines the previous short films with musical performances to bring the birth of Jesus to life like never before.
“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,” a statement added.
Other performers include the Bonner Family, Zach Williams, Matt Maher, Brandon Lake, One Voice Children’s Choir and Joy to the World.