The studio behind Jesus Revolution and the director of The Chosen are teaming up to turn a popular children’s book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, into a movie.
The deal, officially announced Friday, will bring Lionsgate, Kingdom Story Company, and Chosen director Dallas Jenkins together for a movie scheduled for a holiday 2024 release. The 1971 book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was written by Barbara Robinson and tells the story of a group of siblings (the Herdmans) from a troubled background who try out for parts in a Christmas play. Jenkins will direct it.
“I’ve been hoping to make this announcement for 15 years,” Jenkins wrote on his Facebook page. “There have been so many painful moments and near misses in that time. But now I finally get to make the movie Amanda and I have sought and envisioned and cried over.”
Jenkins and his wife, Amanda, read the book to their children, they said.
“I loved it,” she said in a Facebook video alongside her husband.
Both of them, she said, cried and laughed as they turned each page.
“I put it down and I said, ‘I have to make this movie. This is the movie that I was born to make,’” Dallas Jenkins said in the Facebook video.
The children in the story, he said, are what the Bible calls the “least of these.”
“We have a chance for a new Christmas classic,” he said.
The film will be produced in between seasons of The Chosen.
“It’s one of the best moments of our career together,” he said of he and his wife. “The message of this book and the script … it’s just so wonderful. And the message is going to impact you like it has us.”
He added, “This is a dream come true.”
Kingdom Story is the same company behind Jesus Revolution, and I Can Only Imagine, among others. It will be produced by Kingdom Story’s Kevin Downes, Daryl Lefever, Andrew Erwin, and Jon Erwin, alongside Darin McDaniel and Chet Thomas.
Photo Courtesy: ©Loaves & Fishes Productions
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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