Tyler Perry

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Filmmaker Tyler Perry will host and narrate a live two-hour special from New Orleans on the final hours of Jesus Christ’s life. It will be a modern day Passion Play.

The Passion” will air on Palm Sunday, March 20. Producers say it will feature a cast of stars (still to be announced) performing a variety of popular music, arranged by executive producer and hit music producer Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”).

The special will follow the 2,000-year-old story of Jesus of Nazareth, and will chronicle the Last Supper and Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, and the trial by Pontius Pilate that led to his crucifixion and resurrection.

New Orleanians will notice some iconic locations in the production. The story will feature a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champions Square outside the Superdome to a live stage at Woldenburg Park along the river. The play will be a modern take of Jesus’s passion and last hours.

The Passion play is acted out in most Christian communities in some form across the country. The development of the Passion Play was about the same as that of the Easter Drama. It originated in the ritual of the Church, which prescribes, among other things, that the Gospel on Good Friday should be sung in parts divided among various persons. Later on, the Passion Play made its appearance, first in Latin, then in vernacular languages; contents and forms were adapted more and more to audience expectations, until, in the fifteenth century, the popular religious plays had developed.

“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,” said Mark Bracco, EVP of Programming and Development for Dick Clark Productions.

FOX teamed up with Dick Clark Productions, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc. to produce the event.

“The Passion” will cost an estimated $11.2 million to produce. Of that, $9.4 million will be spent in Louisiana, with $1.8 million going toward in-state payroll for 768 temporary jobs.

“The Passion” will air at 8 p.m. March 20 on FOX.

Pretty impressive undertaking for Mr Perry.

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