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Dallas Jenkins Reveals Why THE CHOSEN’s Characters Feel So Real

Photo from Dallas Jenkin’s Instagram

Dallas Jenkins Reveals Why THE CHOSEN’s Characters Feel So Real

By Movieguide® Contributor

THE CHOSEN has created characters that feel more real than nearly any other adaptation of the Bible, and creator Dallas Jenkins’ love for TV is to thank for that.

Jenkins wanted the show to be “uniquely timely” and “feel like real humanity” rather than fall flat like a “stiff melodrama.”

“I’m not only a lover of the Bible, but I’m also a lover of television,” Jenkins told TV Insider. “I’m watching SUCCESSION at the same time that I’m writing the show. I’m watching FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, THIS IS US. You look at these shows and you realize the time they take to build these characterizations, that’s their secret sauce. They don’t rush it.”

Nor does THE CHOSEN rush it as it introduces its large cast of characters. Rather than focusing immediately on Jesus, the first episode of the first season largely follows Mary Magdalene as she faces her personal demons. It isn’t until the end of the episode that she finds healing, and Jesus is introduced to the audience.

Jenkins’ unique take on the biblical story is perhaps due to his feeling that he had nothing to lose. THE CHOSEN, Jenkins explains, was “born out of failure.” After a feature movie he directed failed, Jenkins picked up a short script about the birth of Jesus from the shepherds’ perspective.

As that short film took off, Jenkins opened himself up to crowdfunding, allowing viewers to invest in a TV show about Jesus’ life which would be created in the same style. 

“Over 16,000 people around the world invested over $10 million for [what became] Season 1,” he said. From there, “the word of mouth went crazy.”

Jenkins and his team have delivered three incredible seasons of Jesus’ ministry while keeping the characters just as relatable. With the show’s consistent storytelling, its audience has continued to grow, allowing it to expand its reach.

The show is currently available for free on THE CHOSEN app and Angel Studios’ website, in addition to streaming on Netflix and Prime Video. Earlier this month, THE CHOSEN also began a run on the CW, airing all 24 episodes in order through Christmas Eve.

“Over 100 million people have seen at least one episode,” Jenkins said. He is grateful for the audience it can reach through network televisions, explaining that it allows the show to “cross the chasm into audiences that have heard about it but haven’t known where to watch it.”

Movieguide® previously reported:

Jonathan Roumie celebrated THE CHOSEN reaching an even wider audience as it starts its run on The CW. 

“I’ve felt (and said) from the beginning that @thechosentvseries would likely see major indications of secular media crossover between the 3rd and 4th seasons and this is proof of that,” Roumie wrote on Instagram. 

“When you’re committed to excellence in artistry, there’s room for all kinds of stories to be told and audiences to be served, especially the ones which reflect the undeniable #Truth that Christ brought into this world,” he continued. 

“Beyond humbled for my gifts, the experience of this series and the commensurate responsibility inherent within it…” Roumie added. “God is great… And he loves you. Give it all to Him and He’ll give it right back to you.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.