Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Netflix Series ‘Messiah’ Casts Mehdi Dehbi in Lead Role (EXCLUSIVE)

Mehdi Dehbi has been cast in the lead role of the upcoming Netflix series “Messiah,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The series will chronicle the modern world’s reaction to a man who first appears in the Middle East creating a groundswell of followers around him claiming he is the Messiah. Dehbi will star as Al Massih. His character is described as an enigma with mysterious origins. People are unsure if he is a divine messenger or a political rabble-rouser. When he disappears from an Israeli interrogation cell with no explanation, his legend begins to grow.

Dehbi’s recent credits include the film “London Has Fallen” and the FX drama “Tyrant.” He has also appeared in films like “A Most Wanted Man” and “Mary Queen of Scots.”

He is repped by Paradigm.

Netflix ordered “Messiah” to series in November. It was created by writer Michael Petroni who brought the project to Netflix with Mark Burnett. Both men will executive produce along with Roma Downey, Andrew Deane, and James McTeigue. McTeigue will also direct.

This is the latest religion-based project for Burnett and Downey. The husband and wife team previously collaborated on the History miniseries “The Bible,” the TV movie “Women of the Bible” at Lifetime, “A.D. The Bible Continues” on NBC, and “The Dovekeepers” at CBS, among others. Burnett is also well known for producing reality TV hits such as “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” and “Shark Tank.”

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