Dallas Jenkins on THE CHOSEN’s Theatrical Debut: ‘There’s Something Special About Gathering and Watching’
By Movieguide® Staff
Dallas Jenkins, director and creator of the hit series THE CHOSEN, recently sat down with Movieguide® to discuss what he is excited about for Season 3; which premieres in theaters on Nov. 18.
“I love movie theaters, I love going to the theater. It’s wonderful when the audience has a chance to see your work on the big screen. They get a chance to see it together. There’s something special about gathering and about watching. It’s just one of my favorite things in my whole life,” he told Movieguide®’s Evy Baehr Carroll.
“What’s cool about this is that I’ve had some theatrical failures. The failure of my movie THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE back in 2017 made me think, ‘Well, I’ll never have another movie in theaters again,’” he continued. “That movie probably didn’t belong in theaters. I mean, I’m proud of the movie, but it’s really more of a streaming kind of movie. What’s funny is, I would have said the same thing about THE CHOSEN. It’s a TV show, it’s not a movie. But yet that experiment we did last year with our Christmas Special, without even trying, we were in the top five in the box office.”
Last year, THE CHOSEN team released their Christmas Special in Theaters which gave them the idea to debut the first two episodes of the upcoming season in theaters.
“This year, it’s like, ‘Okay, cool. Let’s try this again,’” he said. “But really, I don’t care about the numbers, it genuinely is about, let’s get people excited. Let’s let them watch this and experience it in a way that you can’t repeat anywhere else. Then it’ll hopefully bring even more attention to the show and get people excited to watch season one and two.”
Jenkins hopes that the in-person experience fans can have with a theatrical release will continue to grow the already impressive community that THE CHOSEN has gathered.
“This show is more community focused than almost any project in history, and I think that’s actually provably true by just our social media engagement,” Jenkins explained. “There’s other shows that do really well, we’re not the pioneers or anything, but we are very community driven. Our first season was completely crowd-funded, other seasons are funded by people who choose to pay for it, because the show is free. So every single dollar that we have for production comes from people who didn’t have to give it.”
If ticket sales go well, Jenkins said that the theatrical run of THE CHOSEN Season 3 will last for about two weeks and then be free to stream on The Chosen App like Season 1 and Season 2.
In Season 3, the Bible verse that Jenkins and the team wanted to explore is Matthew 11:28, which reads: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
“There’s not too many examples in scripture of Jesus not healing someone,” Jenkins said. “Yet, you know that there were plenty of people who he didn’t heal, because it’s not like the entire region of Galilee had no sickness or disability while Jesus was there. Everyone died at some point. So we go ahead and address those tough theological questions right out of the gate.”
Season 3 also addresses a conversation from Season 2, where Little James has a conversation with Thomas about his disability.
“In episode two of Season 3… there’s an exchange where Jesus says, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ And he says, ‘Well, of course, if it’s possible.’ Jesus says, ‘I think you’ve seen enough to know what’s possible.’ And little James says, ‘So why haven’t you?’” Jenkins shared. “I know that’s a question that millions and millions of people have asked and are asking. We decided to go ahead and try to answer.”
Despite its widespread success, THE CHOSEN has already faced it’s fair share of naysayers, claiming that the writing is blasphemous or presents Christ and his disciples in an untrue light.
However, Jenkins and THE CHOSEN writers strive for biblical truth in everything that they produce, and it is no different in Season 3.
“It’s a risk. It’s challenging. But I do believe that the answer that we portray is plausible and theologically sound, and also quite beautiful,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing that portrayed; because this theme of the season, ‘come to me you are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest,’ we don’t skip over the weary and heavy laden part.”
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