Season 4 of the popular Jesus show, now in theaters, takes a turn for the serious. CT reports from its premiere and press junket in LA.
There’s a moment in season 4 of The Chosen—coming to a theater near you on Thursday, February 1—in which Jesus (Jonathan Roumie) steps outside for a moment. Some of the disciples are bickering over some trivial matter or other, and Jesus finds himself alone with Little James (Jordan Walker Ross) and Thaddaeus (Giavani Cairo), the first two men who followed him.
By this point in the story, Jesus has been dealing with all sorts of issues. He has received some very bad news about his cousin John the Baptizer (David Amito); his disciples are competing for status within his movement; the movement itself has attracted thousands of followers, critics, and onlookers thanks to the sermons and miracles that Jesus has performed; and now, his opponents are turning into outright enemies as verbal arguments start shifting into physical violence.
In the midst of all that, Jesus quietly sits down with James and Thaddaeus and asks if they can remember what it used to be like when it was just the three of them, hanging out together. “Do you ever miss those days?” he asks.
It’s hard not to see an element of autobiography from series creator Dallas Jenkins and his collaborators. Like the nascent Christianity it depicts, The Chosen has grown by leaps and bounds since the first four episodes were released online just in time for Easter 2019.
The first big leap came in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the producers made the series available for free. It was supposed to be a temporary measure to help people get through lockdowns and self-isolation, but the showrunners found that the “pay it forward” donations from the show’s fans surged so quickly they could keep the show free indefinitely. …