John Legend Cast as Jesus in NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert’
By Jackie Willis
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Axe
John Legend has landed the role of lifetime.
The 38-year-old R&B singer has signed on to play Jesus Christ in NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert special, which is to air on Easter Sunday.
“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 musical, which will be executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is about the last few weeks of Christ's life. The production first hit Broadway in 1971 and was nominated for five Tony Awards. Two years later, the movie adaptation was released and was nominated for an Oscar.
“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.”
This isn't the first time fans have seen Legend try his hand at acting. He also had a small role in the Oscar nominated movie La La Land last year and has also had parts on Underground, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Soul Men.