John Legend will play Jesus in NBC's live musical remake, 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!'
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John Legend will play Jesus in NBC's live musical remake, 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!'

John Legend has been tapped in the title role of Jesus in the upcoming NBC live musical remake of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Called Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!, it will air on Easter Sunday, April 1.

It is the latest live musical remake for NBC, following The Sound of Music Live, Peter Pan Live!  and The Wiz Live! 

Jesus Christ Superstar was first on stage in 1971 (nominated for five Tony Awards) and is now considered a staple musical throughout the world. It is based on the final week of Jesus' life. There were also several revivals on stage, including Broadway versions in 2000 and 2012, and a 1973 film.

The NBC live remake will be will be executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius.  Alice Cooper was previously announced for the role of King Herod. David Leveaux. is directing. 

“We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “This score demands a singer with an amazing range and an actor with great depth, and there isn’t anyone better to bring this story to a new audience. His casting is also groundbreaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”

“John Legend is a superstar,” said Tim Rice, lyricist of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” “As a performer, his voice is infectious and effortless.  As an actor, he is believable and honest.  I’m thrilled he will be able to share his portrayal of Jesus with the world.”

“I'm thrilled to join the cast of this production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,’” Legend said. “It's such a powerful, meaningful musical and I'm humbled to be part of this performance. We've already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I'm certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”