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7 Things You Should Know about Season 4 of The Chosen 

7 Things You Should Know about Season 4 of <em>The Chosen</em>&nbsp;

One of the most popular Bible-based entertainment projects ever, The Chosen, can credit its success to what Hollywood studios would call a stroke of fortune.

Fans of the series, though, would call it providential.

In 2019, the series' first season had its share of admirers but had yet to reach the viral status -- much less the funding -- it now enjoys. Then, the 2020 pandemic hit. In March of that year, the company behind The Chosen placed Season 1 online for free. Viewership soared. That led to more donations. It also led to more seasons.

Brad Pelo, president of The Chosen, believes the pandemic was critical to its current success.

"It helped because we were all in our homes, looking for something to do," Pelo told Crosswalk. "But I think it also helped because we were facing a dilemma as a society. We're wondering: Is this going to kill us all? Will life ever return to normal? We were asking existential questions of humanity."

Today, The Chosen is available on its own platform as well as major streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Peacock. In my view, it is the best faith-based project in modern history. Season 4 releases in theaters in February.

Here are seven things you should know about Season 4:

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

The Chosen woman season 4

1. It's a Landmark Theatrical Event

It's rare for a television series to place any of its episodes in theaters. The Chosen did this in Season 3 for a handful of episodes in roughly 2,000 theaters, while, for example, ABC's Inhumans in 2017 and HBO's Game of Thrones in 2015 did something similar.

Never, though, has an entire season of a television series been released in theaters on a wide scale. All eight episodes of Season 4 will launch in theaters before they land on their traditional platforms (such as The Chosen app). Episodes 1-3 will debut in theaters Feb. 1, with episodes 4-6 following on Feb. 15 and episodes 7-8 on Feb. 29.

The fact that an entire TV series can debut in theaters -- successfully -- is a testament to the series' popularity. Last year alone, The Chosen landed on the cover of TV Guide and drew solid numbers on The CW. It soared into the Top 10 on Amazon Prime Video. It even got a mention on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

The Chosen season 4

2. It Includes the Raising of Lazarus and…

An embargo prevents me from giving too many details. But we can discuss what is in the trailer and what is already publicly known.

Season 4 includes the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and in another scene, Jesus tells his disciples, "Upon this rock, I will build my church." (Both scenes are set up masterfully.) It includes Judas stealing from the treasury and John the Baptist being led to his death.

We watch as leaders -- both political and religious -- plot against Jesus. We also watch Jesus cry. The movie's poster depicts Jesus shedding a tear.

"There's a lot of pain this season, there's a lot of grief this season." Elizabeth Tabish, who portrays Mary Magdalene, told Crosswalk. "But there's also hope and light. It's got some of my absolute favorite stories in the gospels."

The series is scheduled for seven seasons.

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

The Chosen season 4

3. It's the First Season Filmed on the Completed Set

Season 4 is the first to be filmed on its completed set at Camp Hoblitzelle, Texas, a Salvation Army property southwest of Dallas. (Part of Season 3 was filmed there while it was under construction.)

The multi-million-dollar set includes a replica of a first-century Judean city with date trees, a Jewish neighborhood, a Roman neighborhood, a horse stable, a food market, a city gate, and a synagogue, just to name a few elements. It also includes a few quirks -- umm, secrets -- you would expect on a major set: the inside of Peter and Eden's home is located on one part of the set, while the exterior is located on another part. The largest synagogue structure actually represents two synagogues in The Chosen (the exterior being one synagogue and the interior being the other).

The set also includes a massive 30,000-square-foot sound stage to film scenes in an indoor, controlled environment.

"It's the only one like it in America," creator Dallas Jenkins said. Lara Silva, who portrays Eden, told Crosswalk the life-like set makes her job easier. "You don't have to really imagine" what the first century was like contrasting the village to a green screen. "It's like you step in and you're there."

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

4. It Survived a Hollywood Strike

Remember the Hollywood strikes of 2023? First, the writers hit the picket line. Then, the actors and actresses followed. They signed new deals with the major studios, but not before making a big dent in the 2024 movie schedule. The 2024 global box office could lose out on $2 billion because of major movies that bumped to 2025, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Chosen survived the strike because it is an independent production and not tied to the major studios at the heart of the dispute. It received a SAG (actors union) waiver and missed only one day of shooting. It was the first TV series to receive the OK to continue. (The Chosen is not a WGA project and was not impacted by the writer's strike.)

Mainstream media members were joking, "'Wait a minute -- how did the Jesus show get an interim agreement?" said co-executive producer Chad Gundersen.

"The actors (on The Chosen set) were very worried because, honestly, nobody wanted to strike. But at the same time, you want to honor (the strike)," Gundersen told Crosswalk.

If a waiver had not been granted, production would have been delayed 118 days (four months). That was the length of the SAG strike.

Jesus The Chosen

5. The Actors Were Surrounded by 'Hidden' Bible Verses

You won't see it on the big screen, but the set includes Bible verses "hidden" in plain sight. Sort of. B.J. Forman, the art department coordinator for The Chosen, told Crosswalk that construction workers who built the set were given a magic marker and allowed to write their favorite Bible verses on the unfinished walls and rooms before they were painted.

"They took that idea and ran with it to every other unfinished room within the city," Forman said.

God's Word has power. On The Chosen, it is not just the basis for the script but a tangible part of the set.

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

The Chosen on set of season 4

6. It Will Be Translated into 600 Languages

The Chosen is a global sensation, and its translation goals are proof. The non-profit ministry Come and See Foundation is working to translate Season 4 and every season into 600 languages, representing 95 percent of the world's population. (Season 1, if you're curious, is already in 53 languages.)

"We're told in Scripture to make disciples of all nations," Stan Jantz, CEO of the Come and See Foundation, told Crosswalk.

One example is Malagasy, a language spoken in Madagascar. The Come and See Foundation, in partnership with Jesus.net, translated The Chosen into Malagasy following a request from Madagascar's president.

"They are taking [The Chosen] on vehicles with LED screens and taking into villages that don't have any electricity," Jantz said.

In one instance, it was shown to 2,000 orphans.

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

The Chosen season 4

7. Could it Become Part of a 'Chosen' Universe?

The Chosen is scheduled for seven seasons, but creator and director Dallas Jenkins has hinted that he wants to launch another Bible series/project after the final season is released, creating a Chosen "universe" of stories based on Scripture. That makes sense, considering the millions of dollars that have gone into building a set and sound studio in Texas.

"We've got other Bible stories to tell," he said last year at the K-Love Fan Awards. He told Crosswalk: "I'm just trying to follow what God wants for me."

Jenkins is a popular filmmaker among fans of The Chosen -- and among cast members, too. Kirk B. R. Woller, who portrays Gaius in The Chosen, said Jenkins "embodies the message of Jesus -- kindness, forgiving." He has worked with Jenkins for many years.

"There's no pretentiousness, there's no ego," Woller told Crosswalk. "There's just love, and it starts from him and trickles down."

Visit TheChosenRiseUp.com.

Photo credit: ©The Chosen; used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

7 Things You Should Know about Season 4 of The Chosen