I recall when I interviewed him in May, he mentioned that he had a handful of projects on the horizon that he couldn’t quite talk about back then, for any number of reasons; I assume this may have been one of those projects.
Towards the end of the video interview below (uploaded to YouTube yesterday), the Brit thespian reveals that he’s been shooting an epic project for the History Channel here in the USA titled simple, The Bible. Specifically, he plays Samson (as in the story of Samson and Delilah) – the Israelite who was granted supernatural strength by God (his strength is in his hair) in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats like wrestling a lion, and slaying an entire army.
Hearing all this, I immediately remembered that, last spring, we announced that the History Channel had greenlit a 5-part, 10-hour epic series based on the bible, from start to finish, with Mark Burnett, the executive producer of Survivor, shepherding the project.
Titled The Bible, as Nonso mentioned, the series will focus on some of the most universally familiar tales from the bible; which ones? We don’t know all of them yet; athough we can now confirm the story of Samson and Delilah will be one of them. And I’m sure we can bet that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ will be at the top of that list, as will Noah’s Ark, and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion’s Den.
The 10-hour project, which Burnett is said to have been working on for the last 3 years, is reportedly shoot on location, and will include a combo of live action and CGI (well, naturally).
“This series will bring the historical stories of The Bible to life for a new generation,” said History Channel president Nancy Dubuc.
I couldn’t find much else about who’s been cast in this mini-series. There isn’t even an IMDB page for it. I did find one recent report that said Portugal’s Diogo Morgado is playing Jesus in The Bible, and that principal photography is wrapping up, with the series set to premiere next year, I’m guessing on the History Channel.
I also found a press release stating that, next week Monday, July 16th, there will be a first-look presentation of The Bible, during the International Christian Retail Show in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, with Mark Burnett & co-producer Roma Downey present. Makes sense…
The pair will share footage and images from the production, and I won’t be surprised if those same images and the footage turn up online soon after that.
Of course I’m thinking about Nonso playing Samson, the Israelite, and already hearing all the complaints that will follow once word gets out, that’ll probably read something like this: “Why’s a black British man playing an Israelite? Samson wasn’t black!“
And then I thought, if Samson’s strength lies in his long locks, does that mean Nonso’ going to wearing a wig? And will that wig comprise of dreadlocks?
Here’s the interview: