NBC has released Thursday the first trailer for Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's upcoming series "A.D.: Beyond the Bible".
The dramatic series will premiere in the United States on Easter Sunday 2015, and is a high-intensity interpretation of the Bible following the crucifixion of Jesus.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's "The Bible" miniseries, which launched during Easter 2013 on The History Channel, ended with the crucifixion of Christ, and that is where the new series "A.D.: Beyond the Bible" begins.
The lives of King Herod's family, Roman politicians, temple priests, and Jesus' disciples are followed in the series, and the trailer shows how profoundly the death of Christ affected those in Jerusalem and beyond.
The politicians of the era must grapple with civil unrest and rumors of Christ's resurrection, and there are concerns that Jesus' disciples will be hunted and killed if they continue to preach in His name.
Burnett said the storylines are powerful.
"These disciples, after Jesus dies and resurrects, the Holy Spirit comes upon them and there is only one way for them–that's spreading the good news of Jesus," he told Forbes Magazine in June. "What a drama."
Burnett added that "Beyond the Bible" could be "NBC's biggest series in many, many years."
Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace was tapped to portray Jesus, and said he was "humbled and happy to be playing HIM."
Tanzanian actress Chipo Chung will play Mary Magdalene, and Vincent Regan is Pontius Pilate. The diverse cast also includes Adam Levy as the Apostle Peter, Italian actress Greta Scacchi as Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Gambian actor Bambou Ceesay as the Apostle John.
NBC's president of late-night and alternative programming, Paul Telegdy, said that religious stories will always be popular.
"There are not a lot of books being read these days," he told Forbes. "But there is one that's being read and reread, and that's the Bible."
Watch the first trailer for "A.D.: Beyond the Bible" below.