Bible believers tuning in to the next Bible-based blockbuster likely will find that it falls into their comfort zone.
That's because the production team behind the 12-episode NBC event series A.D., set to premiere next Easter Sunday, April 5, is known for their Christian faith and have a track record of producing Bible-based material that is both faithful and respectful to its source.
Plus, the miniseries by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will be a follow-up to their highly rated and well-received The Bible miniseries. A.D. chronicles the aftermath of Jesus' crucifixion as the tiny band of followers fight for survival while they try to spread the Word to the world. But they have hope and soon they have power: the amazing miracle of the Resurrection, and the arrival of the Holy Spirit upon them.
Burnett and Roma Downey have assembled the cast for the miniseries, according to deadline.com. In addition to her later work, Downey is remembered for her starring role on the television drama Touched By an Angel.
Among the stars are: Richard Coyle (Crossbones), Vincent Regan (The Musketeers), Adam Levy (Borgia), Juan Pablo di Pace (Dallas), Emmet Scanlan (Constantine), Chipo Chung (Sherlock), Jodhi May (The Crimson Field), Joanne Whalley (The Borgias), Greta Scacchi (Agatha Christie) and Babou Ceesay(Luther) are set for key roles.
Coyle will play Caiaphas, High Priest of the Temple and all Jews everywhere. He is a shrewd and calculated politician who sees the Christians as inherently dangerous to the nation and so stops at nothing to destroy their ideals. Regan portrays Pilate, Roman governor of Judea who orders the death of Jesus at the behest of Caiaphas; Levy will play Peter, who recovers from deep guilt over abandoning Jesus, to take charge of a growing church.
Di Pace is Jesus, the charismatic leader who appears only when dying on the cross, or in resurrected divine form. Scanlan will play Saul, a fervent Jewish follower, who is aggressive and zealous in his admiration of the Temple and his people's traditions. Chung is Mary Magdalene, the backbone of the group. She works tirelessly to keep the movement going amidst all the challenges.
May plays Leah, wife of the High Priest Caiaphas and arguably the smarter of the pair. This proud and influential noblewoman holds much sway in the family. Whalley portrays Claudia, sensitive wife of Pilate, who has a dream about Jesus that she just can't quite shake. Scacchi plays Mary, Jesus' mother who stays strong and resolute throughout the darkest of days. Ceesay plays John, Peter's right hand and brother of James.