Lionsgate has picked up the worldwide distribution rights to all seasons of The Chosen, the streaming TV series starring Jonathan Roumie that follows the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of his followers.
The relgious drama from creator, director and producer Dallas Jenkins grew from a crowdsourcing project to amassing over 110 million viewers in 175 countries via streaming platforms. The studio and Jenkins plan to make The Chosen available worldwide in 600 languages.
“Lionsgate is perfect for us. They’re strong and experienced in the areas we’re not, but they also understand what’s unique about us and will protect that. We’ll continue to do what we do best unabated, and they’ll expand our efforts with their tremendous distribution team,” Jenkins said in a statement.
Pre-pandemic, crowdfunding raised around $9 million to fill out budgets to shoot The Chosen. Three seasons of the religious drama have been produced, with the first two seasons made available on Peacock and Amazon Prime, while Netflix has offered the rookie season to its subscribers.
A fourth season with Roumie in the role of Jesus is in production. Internationally, The Chosen has been viewed in France on Canal+, the Netherlands on NPO, Spain on MovieStar and Poland on TVP. That leaves much of the rest of the world available to reach additional audiences.
The series has an impressive social media following and has generated $35 million at the box office in special event theatrical releases. The Come and See Foundation will retain and manage licensing rights for The Chosen in the non-profit sector, which includes translating the series to make it globally accessible.
Jenkins and Roumie are represented by UTA. The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Christopher Davis and Daniel Taylor.