Apparently Jesus isn’t the only one who can perform miracles. In 2017, without any backing (read: money) from a studio, Dallas Jenkins created The Chosen.

Through crowd-funding — i.e., donations from viewers — the show got off the ground and became the first multiseason TV show to depict the life of Jesus Christ. Now it’s an international hit and cultural phenomenon. (The show will be translated into 600 languages; episodes are available for free on multiple platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and the Chosen app.) And there are plenty of secrets from the set!

Walking on Water

Jenkins wasn’t planning on shooting the walking-on-water scene. “I didn’t think we could pull it off,” he explains. “But it became a necessary part to this journey.” With the help of a fantastic visual effects team and CGI, the scene was a huge success. And, no, Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, can’t actually walk on water.

‘The Chosen’ Donations

Since 2017, over $40 million has been collected in donations to help produce the series.

‘The Chosen’ Feature Film

The Chosen will span seven seasons. Season 4 recently launched in movie theaters, and production for Season 5 began in April. “In Season 6, we’re planning to do a feature film within that season. Same thing with Season 7,” reveals Jenkins.

Secret Messages 

The actors are surrounded by hidden Bible verses they and the viewers can’t see. Construction workers who built the sets were given a magic marker and allowed to write their favorite Bible verses on the unfinished walls before they were painted.

Luke Dimyan on ‘The Chosen’

Luke Dimyan originally auditioned for Philip. Though he didn’t get the role, he was eventually invited back to play Judas.

‘The Chosen’ Casting

Fans were used as extras for the Sermon on the Mount and the Feeding of the 5,000 scenes.

 ‘The Chosen’ Stunt Secrets

Alaa Safi, who plays Simon the Zealot, is a martial artist, gymnast and stuntman, and performs his own stunts.

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