In the Tyler Perry-est news that ever Tyler Perry-ed, Tyler Perry is planning to host, narrate, and stage a live Bible musical on Fox, one that he’ll mount on Palm Sunday “at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations” and one that will “feature a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenberg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.” But, in a move that displays stunning and uncharacteristic restraint, Perry won’t be playing all of the main characters in various forms of drag. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Perry has just cast actual other people in the roles of Jesus and Judas: Jencarlos Canela of NBC’s Telenovela will play Jesus, while Chris Daughtry will play Judas.
Yes, that Chris Daughtry. The one who won fourth place on the fifth season of American Idol and now headlines a rock band called Daughtry. The one whose most recent album is called Baptized. The one whom THR bills as a “singer-actor,” but whose only previous acting experience is playing a man named “Machiavelli Taylor” on an episode of CSI: New York and starring in a failed Fox pilot. All of which, I think, singlehandedly qualifies him to play the man who f*cks over Jesus.
According to THR, Perry’s musical, entitled The Passion, tells the “2,000-year-old story of the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life on Earth through a variety of popular music.” Trisha Yearwood will star as Mary, and pop star Prince Royce will play Peter. Set in the modern-day, the musical “follows the dramatic and inspirational story of Jesus of Nazareth, as he presides over the Last Supper, and then is betrayed by Judas, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted, crucified and resurrected.” You guys know the rest: Centuries pass and Jesus’ message of love and acceptance is twisted and perverted so that it might prop up the Republican party, undercut women’s rights, and make gay people feel awful for years and years and years.
The Passion‘s music was arranged by Adam Anders of Glee, and its script written by Peter Barsocchini of High School Musical, another faith-based film about a man with powerful charisma who’s crucified for his beliefs (that you can play sports and love theater). Keep your eye out for its massive glowing cross on March 20.