NBC is hard at work on its next live musical, and as usual, it’s landed a big name to draw in viewers. For the network’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, it’s just been announced that John Legend will play Jesus.
Legend, who has released five studio albums, including the award-winning Get Lifted, and netted 10 Grammy wins out of dozens of nominations, said he was thrilled to be joining the production, which is set to air on Easter Sunday.
“It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance,” Legend told Deadline. “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.”
He’s right — Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! has some other big names behind it already, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, possibly the most famous name in musical theater, as an executive producer. Other executive producers include Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Alice Cooper is already attached to play King Herod.
“We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus,” NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “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 ground-breaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! follows other successful live TV musicals produced and aired by NBC, including The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!