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At the end of Jesus Christ Superstar (John Nineteen- Forty-One), all the actors (including one playing Judas who's "dead" by now) get back on the bus and the bus drives off.

Except the actor playing Jesus (Ted Neely). Why was he not on the bus, considering there was no resurrection scene following that?

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This is second-hand, but evidently from Ted Neeley himself:

Ted said that when he took on the role of Jesus, it was essential to both him and Director Norman Jewison that as soon as he stepped off the bus, he became Jesus, and that because he was assuming this role, becoming this person, he would never be getting back on the bus. And then he asked me if I had noticed the ‘end’ of the movie, and I could tell he was referring to something I missed.

Ted said that one thing that has always been difficult for him is that the movie did not include the resurrection of Christ, and it was something that pained him this same night as the theatre’s stage did not allow for his ascension. And he said, ‘next time you watch the movie, right at the end, as the bus jerks away and Judas looks off into the sunset, the camera pans to the sunset and the crosses. You will notice movement across the bottom of the screen. Look closely, and you will see it is a shepherd walking across the desert. It was not planned and we only knew about it once we saw the reel.” He then said, “I have goose bumps right now, thinking about it, and sharing this with you. It was truly unplanned”.

I had asked one question that had bothered me since the day I first saw the film, and finally, I had the answer, straight from Ted Neeley himself.

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