Since the first episode of The Chosen, the ending of Jesus’ story has always loomed large. And with the highly anticipated fourth season just around the corner, creator Dallas Jenkins wants audiences to know that things are about to get intense.
“We can’t escape that the story is getting bigger,” he says. “The stakes are huge.” Adds Katherine Warnock, vice president of original content at The Chosen: “This [season] is the reality of the consequences of what [Jesus and His disciples] have been living, what they’ve been building.”
Season 4 begins with John the Baptizer (David Amito) in King Herod’s (Paul Ben-Victor) dungeon prison and, according to Jenkins, a reveal of what led to that moment. In addition to King Herod, new faces are introduced such as Herod’s wife Herodias (Shereen Khan). Major biblical moments also come to life, like Jesus’ (Jonathan Roumie) childhood friend Lazarus (Demetrios Troy) rising from the dead. What that post-resurrection Lazarus looks like is something Troy is excited for fans to see — among the questions he hopes they ask is “Who is that man? What did he experience? How does he interact with this man who’s his friend but also the Son of God?”
Lazarus isn’t the only character with big changes ahead. “I love the fact that Matthew is always trying to be the best version of himself,” says Paras Patel of his tax collector turned disciple character. “Although there are many challenges, you continue to see Matthew put himself through it, to learn from and become a stronger person.”
Another, more cosmetic change comes with the character of Philip as Reza Diako takes over the role. And the distinctive looks of some characters have also been revamped — even determined holy man Rabbi Shmuel (Shaan Sharma) gets an upgrade. “Shmuel is now part of the Sanhedrin, which is the house of judges, so he got new clothes. [It’s] nicer to have money,” previews costume designer Leila Heise.
While the new episodes are certain to be emotional, Jenkins promises they won’t be all doom and gloom. That balance in storytelling has always been important to the showrunner, who is very aware of how often to let the weighty subject matter dominate. “Humor is an important part of bringing your emotions to the surface,” he says, referencing a key way the series has avoided becoming too serious: countering the drama with doses of comedy, be it Matthew’s awkwardness or gentle ribbing among the Apostles.
Jenkins remains firm that a seven-season run is still the plan for the series. “I think this whole project never stops surprising us,” he says. “The cool thing is that the story from the Bible is the greatest story ever told. It has a progression.” Speaking of progression, “We are approaching Holy Week by the end [of the season]. So we cover a lot of ground, a lot of time.” Just like Jesus and His followers, we’ll put our faith in our leader and keep tuning in until the end.
Scroll down for a closer look at Season 4 with all-new photos featuring your favorite characters.
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s The Chosen special issue, available on newsstands and for order online now at TheChosenMag.com
The Chosen, Season 4 Premieres Thursday, February 1, in Theaters