Denver Newsroom, Oct 22, 2022 / 07:00 am (CNA).
The official trailer for the highly anticipated third season of “The Chosen,” the hit streaming series about Jesus and his first disciples, is out and packed with emotional moments, including a sneak peek at one of the show’s most ambitious scenes yet: Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5,000.
The trailer’s opening — a clip of an exchange between Jesus and Shmuel, a Pharisee from Capernaum — promises an “emotional third chapter” in the unfolding story of the life of Christ.
“You look troubled,” Jesus says.
“I am,” the Pharisee responds.
“You’re losing something. I know what that’s like,” Jesus replies.
“What are you losing?” Shmuel wants to know.
“Time,” Jesus says.
That goosebump-inducing answer is a powerful reminder that the clock is ticking. Jesus’ public ministry will last only three years, and there is still so much yet to accomplish. The trailer gives us a glimpse of where this is headed, showing a snippet of Jesus visiting a tomb that may or may not be his own.
“The Chosen,” created and directed by Dallas Jenkins, an evangelical Christian, premiered on Christmas Eve in 2017. During its first season, the show was the largest-ever crowdfunded television series. The series has been translated into 56 languages and has more than 420 million views worldwide.
In telling the story of Jesus through a dramatization of the lives of his disciples, Jenkins employs his imagination, a spiritual tool recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. In his “Spiritual Exercises,” Ignatius suggests meditating on Jesus by imagining oneself in scenes from the Gospel.
Season 3 picks up where Season 2 left off: with Jesus about to deliver his famous Sermon on the Mount, a major turning point in his ministry. In the first two seasons, we meet Jesus and the men and women called to follow him.
One of the most powerful scenes of the show comes at the end of the first episode of Season 1 when Jesus heals Mary Magdalene. We later meet Peter and Matthew and the other members of a ragtag group of followers who at first seem like unlikely disciples of Jesus, a reminder that Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners” (Luke 5:32).
This season is set to be pivotal, as Jesus’ name is spreading like wildfire, which will surely lead to more heart-wrenching moments as the Pharisees and Romans become convinced that the rabbi from Nazareth is a threat.
This summer, 5,000 “Chosen” fans from around the globe flew to the set in Midlothian, Texas, to be extras in the scene in which Jesus feeds the multitudes.
April Mills, a mother of two from Ellensburg, Washington, took part in the event with her daughters.
In an interview with the Daily Record, she said, “It’s exciting. It’s an opportunity to be an active part of a story that’s been told for thousands of years, that’s been so powerful for so many people.”
“I’ve heard of re-enactments before, but it’s usually the Civil War or something else. But to be able to re-enact these biblical stories with ordinary folks like us as part of it — I never would have guessed I’d do something like this,” she said.
Most actors are used to using CGI for such scenes, so for the cast of “The Chosen” it was a special experience.
“Getting to see all the fans’ faces up close — they’re just these kind eyes and demeanors shown toward you — was so relaxing. It almost made the rest of the crowd melt away,” Luke Dimyan, who plays Judas Iscariot, said in a behind-the-scenes video from “The Chosen.”
“You just got to focus on these individual people, really, with all their heart just wanting to interact with you, reaching out, just playing fully into the scene along with you. It was spectacular,” the actor said.
Season 3 will see the disciples being sent off in pairs to spread the teachings of Jesus.
In an interview on the show’s YouTube channel, Jordan Ross, who plays the apostle Little James, or James the Lesser, talked about his character’s growth.
“Going out with Big James and experiencing some of the stuff they experience is truly life changing for Little James. I would go so far as saying that Little James finds his true purpose on that journey,” he said.
Noah James, who plays the apostle Andrew, said he is on a journey, much like his character was.
“It’s less this season about steps back. I feel like that was towards the end of last season for me; now I really am trying to take Jesus’ words to heart and that’s part of my journey this season,” he said.
Episodes 1 and 2 of the third season will premiere in theaters on Nov. 18 before becoming available to stream from The Chosen app.
“The Chosen” can be streamed for free on YouTube, through The Chosen app for iOS or Android systems, and through the website of VidAngel, its distributor. From the app you can stream to your TV using another device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast. The seasons are also available to purchase on DVD/BluRay.
Watch the trailer for Season 3 here: