Still can’t get over the fact that John Legend looks exactly like Arthur, the fictional character you loved to watch on PBS as a kid?
Well, prepare to visualize him as a new (religious) icon: none other than Jesus Christ. On Tuesday, we learned that the 38-year-old Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony, and Grammy winner (woah!) will officially portray Jesus in NBC’s upcoming live musical, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!
Today broke the news, and Legend shared his excitement in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join the cast of this production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
The original musical, which is based on the final week of Jesus’s life, first opened on Broadway in 1971. Both writers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice will executive produce the musical.
Legend reacted to Webber’s tweet, writing, “Just woke up to Andrew Lloyd Webber tweeting about me. It’s a good day.”
“John Legend is a superstar,” Rice reportedly said in a statement. “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.”
John Legend as Jesus! You better get used to it.
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert! will air Easter Sunday, April 1, on NBC.