John Legend is set to play Jesus Christ in NBC’s upcoming musical “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!”
The multifaceted star will take on the title role in the live musical based on the 1971 Broadway show. “It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance,” said Legend. “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.”
Legend will also serve as executive producer alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Rock icon Alice Cooper will play King Herod, and the production will be helmed by British theatre director David Leveaux.
“We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. “This score demands a singer with an amazing range and an actor with great depth, and there isn’t anyone better to bring this story to a new audience. His casting is also groundbreaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”
The 10-time Grammy winner, who released his album Darkness and Light last year, has shown off his acting skills in the past, including roles in “Underground,” La La Land, Soul Men, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” among other works. He also has an Oscar for “Glory,” a song off 2014’s Selma, and a Tony as a producer of “Jitney.” He is an Emmy away from the coveted EGOT.
“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!” is scheduled to air on Easter Day, April 1.