11:15am PT by Kate Stanhope
'The Passion': Singer Seal Joins Fox Musical as Pontius Pilate
Seal has found his next, ahem, passion project.
The Grammy winner has signed on to play Pontius Pilate in Fox's religious musical The Passion, the network announced Thursday.
Set in modern times, The Passion 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.
Seal joins a cast that includes Jencarlos Canela (Jesus Christ), Chris Daughtry (Judas), Prince Royce (the disciple Peter), Trisha Yearwood (Mary) and Tyler Perry, who will host/narrate the two-hour event, which will air live from New Orleans on Palm Sunday, March 20, at 8 p.m. ET (tape-delayed PT) on Fox.
The Passion hails from the Netherlands and was created by Eye2Eye Media's Jacco Doornbos. The Dutch version has been produced annually since 2011.
The broadcast will be produced by Dick Clark Productions with Eye2EyeMedia and Anders Media. Doornbos and The Passion: Netherlands' David Grifhorst will executive produce with Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan and Marc Bracco of Dick Clark Productions and Anders. Robert Deaton (CMA Awards) will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
This marks the first acting role for Seal, best known for such pop hits as "Kiss From a Rose." He released his ninth album in November.
The Passion comes on the heels of Fox's massive success, in terms of both ratings and reviews, with Grease: Live. Both Grease and NBC's most recent live musical, The Wiz, found success with diverse casts.