Natascha McElhone and Bill Pullman will co-star in "Revelations." (NBC)
The end of the world will be shown on NBC in April. "Revelations," what the network is calling "a six-hour event series," centers on the apocalypse, as foretold in the last book of Christian Scriptures.
"Revelations," what the network is calling "a six-hour event series," centers on the apocalypse, as foretold in the last book of Christian Scriptures.
With Armageddon seemingly around the corner, two characters—one representing faith and the other science—struggle to discover if the last days are indeed at hand and if they may be delayed.
Bill Pullman ("Independence Day," "While You Were Sleeping") stars as Harvard astrophysicist Richard Massey, and Natascha McElhone ("Solaris") plays Sister Josepha Montifiore.
"To save humanity, Massey will have to let go of the most stable force in his life—scientific logic—and embrace the uncertainty of faith," read a press release.
The mini-series is executively produced and written by David Seltzer, whose writing credits vary from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" to more supernatural-themed films like "The Omen" and "Dragonfly."
NBC originally wanted to unveil the mini-series shortly after the network wrapped its coverage of the Olympic Games in Athens last summer, according to trade publication Variety in a November 2003 article. That obviously didn't happen.
Kevin Reilly, NBC's development president, told Variety that Seltzer "could masterfully weave theology and reality into a truly frightening epic tale which we would hope to platform into a very big event."
The publication also quoted Seltzer, who said events predicted in Revelation are "at hand."
"Nuclear brinkmanship, worldwide terrorism, collapsing economies and environmental atrocities make it clear that the critical mass of injury to this planet is sufficient to bring down the wrath of God and put the biblical prophecies into play," he said. "What is not written in the Bible is whether man can do anything about it. This is where our story begins."
"Revelations" won't be the first time the network has brought a biblical story to the tube. It broadcast "Noah's Ark" in 1999, though the mini-series was criticized for diverging too much from the Genesis account of the flood.
As Seltzer's comment indicates, "Revelations" will be less of an imagining of the prophecy and more of its own story set amid the coming last days.
"If we achieve our goal of creating a series which is not only an original but also a respectful look at the events foretold in the Bible, we will have a larger potential audience than any show on television," executive producer Gavin Polone told Variety.
The last days have recently proven to be a popular subject, as the best-selling Left Behind book series makes clear. The film adaptations in 2000 and 2002, however, were less popular.