Netflix has opted to not go through with renewing production for the provocative series Messiah after just one season. Series co-star Wil Traval revealed the news on Instagram.
The series was created by Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us, Backtrack) and produced by Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, The Bible) and Roma Downey (The Bible, Ben-Hur). Messiah ventured into topics pertaining to religion, faith and politics. The story follows CIA officer Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) who gains information about a man referred to as Al-Masih (Mehdi Dehbi). She starts investigating him after he gains international attention by causing acts of public disruption. As his charisma slowly consumes global media, he continues to gain followers who claim that he is miraculous.
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It’s a very sad day today. I have just received news from Netflix that there will be no season 2 of #messiah I wanted to say to all the fans thank you for your support and love. We loved our Netflix home. I wish things were different. #noseasontwo #messiahnetflix #cancelled #devestated #netflix #wewillmussyou
Additionally, Messiah starred Tomer Sisley, John Ortiz, Stefania LaVie Owen, Sayyid El Alami, Jane Adams, Melinda Page Hamilton, Traval, Fares Landoulsi, Dermot Mulroney and Beau Bridges.
Notably, production was stopped as Netflix was concerned about filming subsequent seasons in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The series features a large international cast and was filmed in various locations around the world. Understandably, such a big production would be difficult to pull off in the foreseeable future, considering that half of the world is under lockdown.
Apart from this, Messiah has faced its fair share of controversies. The trailer itself sparked outrage over the name ‘Al-Masih’ which prompted the birth of a Change.org petition. That, however, did not gain much traction. Moreover, a scene featuring shooting on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount raised quite a few eyebrows in the Middle East. Later on, The Royal Film Commission of Jordan did not permit the drama’s release in the country – just two days before its debut.
At that time, a Netflix spokesperson clarified that all the shows on the platform are a work of fiction, including Messiah, and are not based on one character, figure or religion. Moreover, all Netflix shows have ratings and information to help people in choosing what is right for them and their families.
Messiah was mostly shot in different parts of New Mexico. Apart from that, locations also included Albuquerque, Estancia, Mountainair, Clines Corners, Belen, and Santa Fe. Filming also took place in Dilley, Frio County, Texas, USA and Amman, Jordan.
Moreover, the series received highly mixed reviews after it premiered on New Year’s Day, with a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Wil Traval, on the other hand, started a petition on Change.org, urging fans to let Netflix know about their love for Messiah and thus renewing it for a second season.
Messiah is the latest show that Netflix has pulled the plug on. Previously, AJ and the Queen, Spinning Out, Daybreak, Tuca & Bertie and Chambers had met the same fate and lasted only a single season.
Messiah Season 1 is available on Netflix right now.