John Legend Set To Play Jesus In NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live’

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
Nelly, John Legend, Jeremih + More Rock Night 1 Of Roots Jam Session 2016 In L.A.
Photo Credit: Vickey Ford

Nelly, John Legend, Jeremih + More Rock Night 1 Of Roots Jam Session 2016 In L.A.

John Legend has been cast as Jesus Christ in NBC’s upcoming musical event Jesus Christ Superstar Live. NBC revealed the casting on Twitter Tuesday morning.

READ: John Legend, Jesse Williams To Produce Film On 1968 Olympic Protest

“I’m thrilled to join the cast of this production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” Legend said in a statement. “It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance. We’ve already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I’m certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”

The show, which will be directed by David Leveaux, will be filmed at the Marcy Armory in Brooklyn, New York, and is set to air live on Easter Sunday, April 1.

A couple of months ago came the announcement that Legend, alongside Jesse Williams, will be producing a documentary on the iconic 1968 Olympic protest.

Titled With Drawn Arms, the film will focus on Olympic gold medalist and NFL wide receiver Tommie Smith and his participation in a protest that would change his life forever. Following his win of the 200-meters at the Games of the XIX Olympiad in Mexico City in 1968, Smith alongside Bronze medalist and fellow Olympic Project for Human Rights member John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists during the Star-Spangled Banner to protest racial injustice.

With Drawn Arms is currently in production in Los Angeles, with the film being co-directed by conceptual artist Glenn Kaino and Prince creative collaborator Afshin Shahidi. The film is aiming to be released towards October 16 next year to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the raised fist by Smith, who is now 73-years-old.

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