As previously announced, The Passion will follow roughly the same time period as the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, from the Last Supper through Jesus' betrayal by Judas, the trial before Roman governor Pontius Pilate, the crucifixion and the resurrection.
The broadcast will take place on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, which coincides with the time period of the story.
"Telenovela"'s Jencarlos Canela stars as Jesus, Perry serves as host and narrator, "American Idol" contestant Chris Daughtry plays Judas, Latin musician Prince Royce plays the apostle Peter, country singer Trisha Yearwood plays Jesus' mother, Mary. More stars are yet to be announced.
The show will be performed in various locations around New Orleans and will be narrated by Tyler Perry, who recently completed a national tour of his stage comedy Madea on the Run. It will include "a procession of hundreds of people carrying a 20-foot, illuminated cross from Champion Square outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River," according to the website.
The special has a script by Peter Barsocchini (High School Musical) and the score will include a variety of pop music, arranged by executive producer Adam Anders ("Glee," "Rock of Ages"). The project is based on a European production created in the Netherlands by Jacco Doornbos of Eye2Eye Media that has been performed and broadcast annually since 2011. The American version will be co-produced by dick clark productions, Eye2Eye Media and Anders Media Inc. No writers are credited. The adaptation is listed as having been overseen by two religious media companies, Christian public broadcaster Evangelische Omroep and Roman Catholic public broadcaster Rooms-Katholiek Kerkgenootschap.