How would the world react if a modern-day Jesus figure emerged in the era of social media? That’s the basic gist of Messiah, a new Netflix series that stars Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye) as a CIA officer investigating the rise of a controversial figure (Mehdi Dehbi) who may be scamming thousands into following him – or he may be the real deal. Check out the trailer below.

Messiah Trailer

This one’s been in the works for a couple of years now, and frankly, I’m not sure what to think of this show. Behind the scenes, I’m not thrilled with the fact that it’s produced by Mark Burnett, who has credits like The Bible, A.D. The Bible Continues, and – ugh – The Apprentice to his name. This is the downside of looking into who makes the things you consume: sometimes you find out that a show is produced by a guy who rubs you the wrong way. But on the other hand, it was created by Michael Petroni, who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (which I enjoyed) and The Book Thief, and it’s being directed by James McTeigue, who directed V for Vendetta (which I really enjoyed). So I’m conflicted on this one.

But I’ve been a fan of Monaghan’s for a long time, and I’m excited to see her back in her tenacious, investigative, Gone Baby Gone mode after often not having very much to do in the Mission: Impossible sequels. (I did not make time to watch her Hulu show The Path. Sorry, Michelle Monaghan.) And it’s always a pleasure to see “that guy” actor John Ortiz pop up in a new project – here he plays the pastor whose daughter is seemingly saved by the new messiah – so Messiah has that going for it, too. But will the show’s intriguing premise be enough to get people to turn it into Netflix’s next phenomenon? This could be one of those shows that catches on in a huge way as people stumble out of the holiday break, or it could be yet another expensive-looking series that gets lost in the endless stream of Netflix content.

Here’s the official logline:

A CIA officer investigates a charismatic figure whose followers believe that he can perform miracles. Is he a divine entity or a dangerous con artist?

Messiah season one arrives on Netflix on January 1, 2020.

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