Warning: Possible SPOILERS for Messiah ahead.
Upcoming Netflix Original series Messiah may have already given away its big ending twist – in the name of its titular messiah. The potential spoiler, if proven true, would be especially ironic considering the show’s preoccupation with influence and truth in the social media age.
Created by Michael Petroni (The Book Thief) and directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), Messiah is set to drop on Netflix on January 1st, 2020. The thriller centers on a charismatic man who may or may not be Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. This mysterious man has cultivated quite a following and become a global phenomenon thanks to the “miracles” he goes around performing. This inevitably catches the attention of CIA officer Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan), who gets embroiled in a geopolitical conspiracy while trying to unveil the truth about the man and his motives.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
So far, so good. The problem is that it seems the mysterious man, played by Mehdi Dehbi, was originally called al-Masih ad-Dajjal during Messiah‘s casting stage. In Islamic theology, al-Masih ad-Dajjal is a false prophet or deceiver similar to the Antichrist, which heavily implies that this modern-day Messiah might, in fact, not be a Messiah at all. In what looks like an attempt to quash people pointing this out, a Twitter user who said they got “Dajjal vibes” from the trailer was blocked by both the show’s official Twitter account, and the general Netflix account.
Netflix has since denied that the character is named al-Masih ad-Dajjal, and the official cast list now names the character as simply “al-Masih”. However, The Wrap’s casting news from 2018 (since “corrected”) suggests that it was the character’s name at one point. A likely explanation was that the character was originally going to be named after the Islamic false prophet as a “subtle” clue to the final twist, but was changed once it became obvious that Netflix has a significant audience of Arab and Muslim viewers who would immediately recognize the name.
Perhaps this is all part of an elaborate hoax to promote the show (#Dajjal was trending on Twitter). After all, social media and globalization are two key themes expected to drive Messiah‘s story forward – what better than a conspiracy theory to promote a show about a conspiracy theory? Maybe this is simply the first of many twists viewers can expect from Messiah. On the other hand, maybe it really was just a rather embarrassing blunder.
The Mandalorian Corrects The Empire’s Fall In The Star Wars Timeline