'The Chosen's Dallas Jenkins to Direct 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever' Movie
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The creator and director of The Chosen is teaming up with the studio behind the Jesus Revolution to make a popular children's book into a holiday movie.
Dallas Jenkins recently announced that Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company are bringing to the big screen a movie adaptation of Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Jenkins will write and direct the film, which will be in theaters next holiday season.
"This is a dream come true and the movie I've most wanted to make my whole career. And I wouldn't want to do it with anyone other than Lionsgate and Kingdom, who make great movies while supporting filmmakers," Jenkins said on YouTube.
"Based on the beloved book and play, The Best Christmas Paegeant Ever centers on the Herdmans –absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. But this Christmas, they're taking over their local church Pageant – and they just might unwittingly teach a shocked community the true meaning of Christmas," Lionsgate said in a press release.
The Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company's adaptation of the book will begin production next month in Canada.
Jenkins told the Desert News that he and his wife, Amanda, fell in love with the book while reading it to their children nearly 15 years ago.
While reading it, they started weeping," he told the outlet.
In a video to fans, the couple showed their well-worn copy of the book with his notes scribbled in the back.
"It's similar to what 'The Chosen' is trying to do, actually, to take the story of Christmas and the story of Jesus and take it down from stained glass windows and pretty paintings and Mary as this glowing halo angel holding a precious little baby and…revealing what it actually is in the eyes of these kids," Jenkins shared.
The production will build on the strong partnership between Kingdom and Lionsgate. The companies most recent movie, Jesus Revolution, grossed over $50 million at the box office.
The studios next film will be Ordinary Angels, starring Hilary Swank. It is set for release to theaters on Feb. 23, 2024, followed by Unsung Hero, starring for King + Country's Joel Smallbone. The film will be released April 26, 2024.
"With the incredible response to Jesus Revolution, we are thrilled to continue working with our partners at Lionsgate to bring trusted and inspiring content to screen. With Ordinary Angels and Unsung Hero releasing at the top of the year, we're delighted to partner with Dallas Jenkins on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, rounding out the year with a holiday film we're confident will become a new family favorite," Kingdom Story's Kevin Downes said.
Lionsgate recently acquired the global distribution rights to The Chosen and has already distributed it on Peacock, CW, and Prime Video, where it has been a top ten series since the launch of the third season earlier this year.
The fourth season will debut in theaters next February.
"The passion and vision Dallas has for this story is infectious – and to show him how we believe in the project as much as he does, we turned the Lionsgate restaurant into a holiday wonderland for him," said Lionsgate president of Production Erin Westerman. "We believe he will deliver a holiday perennial that will be fun for the whole family next holiday season."
Jenkins said his vision is to make this film "a new Christmas classic."
The Best Christmas Pageant has sold over seven million copies since its publication in 1972.
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