By Anna Schaeffer
Rabat- A television series on the Biblical story of Jesus has launched its filming in Ouarzazate, supported by a majority-Moroccan film crew and over 100 locals.
Directed by Edgard Miranda, Brazilian telenovela Jesus will film until July 6 on the premises of Atlas Studios. Dubbed Hollywood’s “Door to the Desert,” the world’s largest film studio by acreage provides a backdrop to portray the most ancient stories of the Bible for the soon-to-be-broadcast Record production.
Over 70 professionals, including cast and crew, comprise the filming team; about 70 percent are Moroccan. Additionally, 150 extras from the region play minor roles in the telenovela written by Paula Richard.
Actor Dudu Azevedo announced last spring his role as the main protagonist of Jesus. “I am facing the biggest of the professional challenges that have been entrusted to me so far,” said Azevedo. “And this challenge is a dream.”
Atlas Studios has provided the setting for numerous acclaimed films with its memorable scenery, including The Mummy, Gladiator, and Lawrence of Arabia. The award-winning hit series Game of Thrones includes scenes shot on the sprawling grounds.
Originally the production crew planned to film Jesus in Matera, Italy, but switched to Ouarzazate to commence development of the anticipated show.
A premiere date for Jesus is still to be decided, but Record expects the telenovela to launch in July.