Two days before “Messiah” is set to premiere on Netflix, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan is asking the streamer to keep the thriller-with-religious-implications off of its Jordanian platform.
The RFC made the demand in a statement posted to its website Monday.
“Having been made aware of its content, the RFC has asked officially the management of Netflix to refrain from streaming it in Jordan,” the statement said.
“Messiah,” which is set to premiere globally on Netflix Jan. 1, follows a mysterious man known to some as Al-Massih (Mehdi Dehbi) who amasses a large and dedicated following through public acts of disruption. This attracts the attention of CIA agent Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan), who makes it her mission to figure out whether he really is the second coming of Christ — or if he’s a con-artist set on dismantling the world’s geo-political order.
Though the RFC originally allowed the series — which has no religious affiliation — to film there in 2018, the predominantly Muslim country has since changed its position on the show’s message, which they say infringes “on the sanctity of religion, thus possibly contravening the laws in the country.”
In a statement to TheWrap, a Netflix spokesperson said, “‘Messiah’ is a work of fiction. It is not based on any one character, figure or religion. All Netflix shows feature ratings and information to help members make their own decisions about what’s right for them and their families.”
No legal action has been taken yet by the RFC against Netflix to stop the show from streaming on the Jordanian service.
The RFC added that it plans to “reassess its policies” on which productions it allows to shoot in Jordan.
“For the last few months, the Board of the RFC has worked to reassess its policies and has reached the conclusion that it will change its policy with regard to productions shooting in Jordan, by making sure the content doesn’t breach the laws of the country,” the statement said.