From Deadline: 

Former DreamWorks exec Mark Sourian has been appointed as President of Production for the Angel Studios Original The Chosen, with plans to build out an entertainment “universe” from the hit faith-based series.

The largest fan-supported entertainment project of all time, Dallas Jenkins’ The Chosen is an episodic drama series about the life of Jesus Christ (Jonathan Roumie) and the calling of his initial disciples. The crowdfunded show available via Angel Studios’ website and app, as well as its own dedicated app, has been translated into more than 50 languages, garnering over 510M views across 175 countries. The show licensed by Angel Studios to the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, Peacock, Fox Nation and Walmart has also taken a handful of episodes and a Christmas special to movie theaters, in concert with Fathom Events, seeing them collectively garner around $34M at the domestic box office.

Sourian comes to The Chosen as it launches production on its fourth of seven guaranteed seasons, with Jenkins and his writers currently mapping out Season 5. The veteran industry figure has most recently been working as an independent producer, producing the Aaron Paul-led Need for Speed and exec producing titles like Echo 3Delivery ManA Dog’s Purpose and Ghost in the Shell. He joined Universal as an EVP in 2015, there overseeing production on The Fate of the Furious, prior to that overseeing production on titles like The Ring and House of Sand and Fog as Co-President of Production at DreamWorks.

Sourian told Deadline that he was introduced to The Chosen by UTA, which reps the show’s key creatives Jenkins and Roumie, admitting that he was initially “a little skeptical” of the series. “Because I had had my own, without knowing the show, prejudices of, ‘Oh, this is a kind of faith-based show,’” he said, “‘perhaps a Trojan horse for a kind of religious, right-wing sensibility.’”

What he found instead was a show of strong “production value” and “vision,” to Sourian recalling that of greats he’s worked with like Steven Spielberg and Mark Boal. “Right away, I could tell that there was a real emotional connection that Dallas had to the material,” he shared. “And the more that I got to know Dallas and the more that he talked rather secularly, frankly, about the show, referencing shows like The Wire and West Wing, that really intrigued me in terms of making me feel like, ‘Wow. Really, truly, this is a guy who has a vision, and this is a show that is an elevated show, and a show that isn’t trying to proselytize, and is something different than what’s been out there before.”

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