Amid calls for more diversity in the entertainment industry, Grammy Award-winning soul singer Seal has been cast to play Pontius Pilate in Fox’s upcoming live musical The Passion.
The live event is a modern-day retelling of the final hours of Jesus, as he presides over the Last Supper, is betrayed by Judas, put on trial, convicted, and ultimately crucified and resurrected.
The show was first announced last December, when the network maintained that the cast would feature “some of today’s biggest stars.”
Entertainment Weekly reports the 52-year-old singer will join Jencarlos Canela (Jesus), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Trisha Yearwood (Mary), and Prince Royce (the disciple Peter).
Hosted live from New Orleans by Tyler Perry, the show will incorporate a procession of approximately one thousand people carrying a 20-foot illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to a stage built at Woldenburg Park near the Mississippi River, according to TheWrap.
The show is being produced by Dick Clark Productions.
“This Palm Sunday television event is a modern-day production of the most famous story of all time, full of universal themes, which we hope provides a unifying experience, bringing the sacred and secular together,” Dick Clark Productions executive vice president of Programming and Development Mark Bracco said in a statement when the event was first announced.
Added Fox President of Entertainment David Madden: “We are so thrilled to have the multi-talented Tyler Perry join us for this epic music production. He is the perfect host to lead the cast – and viewers – through the streets of New Orleans in this contemporary re-telling of a timeless story.”
The Passion will air Sunday, March 20, 8 p.m. Eastern.