Goshen, Utah — The Chosen, the first ever multi-season show about the life of Jesus Christ, is filming its second season at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Jerusalem film set in Goshen, Utah.
It’s the number one highest crowd-funded project of all time, raising over $10 million for its second season. After it seemed like it might not be happening, season two is underway right here in Utah.
The Chosen focuses on the life of Jesus Christ and the people around him like Mary, James and John, Nicodemus and others.
After season one premiered in 2019, the show found massive success and hundreds of thousands of fans on social media.
Season one was a big undertaking, but season two has been even bigger. “It’s been definitely by far one of the most difficult projects I’ve ever worked on,” said Derral Eves, executive producer for The Chosen.
Eves said the fact that season two is getting made at all is kind of a miracle. “There’s a lot of opposition. COVID has been very challenging. We’re well over $800,000 what it’s going to cost us to do all the COVID tests.”
Elizabeth Tabish, who plays Mary Magdalene in The Chosen, said that playing the role has been a dream. “I’m often pinching myself because it is a little surreal.”
Tabish said she tries not to think too much about the massive pressure of playing such a well-known character. “I know it would have been a little overwhelming in terms of responsibility and doing it justice.” When it comes to playing Mary, Tabish said she will “try to remember that this is a human. These historical people were people, like us, reacting in similar ways.”
Tabish says she’s been able to humanize the character by bringing pieces of herself to the role. “She’s a complicated character,” said Tabish. “There are similarities that I am oddly grateful to have, otherwise I don’t think I would understand how to play her. She’s got a really gentle heart but has gone through some stuff.”
Although The Chosen draws its inspiration from the Bible, it takes some creative liberties too. The show contains dialogue and plotlines that aren’t in the book.
“We’re not translating the Bible verbatim,” said Chad Gundersen, producer for The Chosen. “But we are telling a Bible story. And so we do want to make something that’s entertaining as well.”
Whenever the writers or directors do stray from the source text, they always make sure it’s based in history.
“The amount of research that these folks have done boggles me sometimes,” said Gundersen. “If anything deserves to be at this level, it’s the story of Christ.”
Gundersen said what sets The Chosen apart from other Christian media is the production quality and attention to detail.
“I think that’s what has taken this show and set it apart from other shows… it’s not just read letter to read letter, miracle to miracle,” said Gundersen. “It’s creating these stories and making them relatable to us. They dealt with the same problems we did. Marital problems, addiction problems, fighting our own demons… All these different things that we struggle with today.”
Season two of The Chosen is expected to debut sometime around Easter 2021.