The Television Critics Association annual press tour is under way which means networks and production companies are courting journalists with all manner of scoop on upcoming shows. Today, Morgan Freeman took the stage with longtime producing partner Lori McCreary to discuss their NatGeo docuseries The Story of God.
Though Freeman has only played God twice, in Bruce Almighty and its sequel Evan Almighty, he is the contemporary actor most associated with the part. Charlton Heston, Val Kilmer, George Burns, and a handful of others have also pit their talents against the intimidating role, but Freeman’s fatherly, calm demeanor has most closely aligned with our modern concept of deity.
Freeman told the TCA gathering that his previous experience had no bearing on the decision to make this documentary however, according to Deadline, calling it “just a coincidence.” The idea for the docuseries was born during a visit with McCreary to Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, an architectural wonder that has served as a church, mosque, cathedral, and is now a museum. McCreary described viewing a mosaic of Christ’s birth and speaking with Muslim visitors who explained Christ’s role as a prophet in Islam. ““I felt a little naive. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know this. Morgan and I began discussing internally. If we don’t have a handle on this, than who does? Perhaps talking about God from our differences might enlighten us all, so that we can reach a hand across the table.”
The series will take Freeman across the world to visit spiritual sites and explore the origin of the five major religions: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. Freeman commented that he was surprised by some of the hard work involved in religions, from the personal sacrifices of Catholic priests to the Hindu struggle for higher level of reincarnation.
McCreary and Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment have been known to tackle big issues before. They’ve produced shows for the Science Channel featuring topics from physics to space to stem cells. Their series Through the Wormhole, also hosted by Freeman, was Emmy nominated. They’re also the company behind current drama Madam Secretary, starring Tea Leoni.
The Story of God is still filming but is scheduled to air on Nat Geo this spring.