Stanfield leads a star-studded cast in the epic-biblical comedy drama
Lakeith Stanfield has proven himself time and again to be a scene-stealer and the King of Weird. Weird might sound negative, but on the contrary, in film and television, it is always interesting. To amend, Lakeith Stanfield is always interesting, no matter the project. Even when he’s in the background, one might find their eyes naturally trailing towards him, wondering what he’s up to. He slid his way onto the scene with a powerful performance in the low-budget but critically acclaimed Short Term 12 in 2023, further boosting his popularity with supporting roles in Selma (2014), Straight Outta Compton (2015), Dope (2015), and Get Out (2017). His breakout performance was as Darius in Donald Glover’s Atlanta (2016-2022).
After an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as the real-life William O’Neal in Judas and the Black Messiah and a role in the ensemble film The Harder They Fall, Stanfield was not billed in a film in 2022 as the brilliant Atlanta came to a conclusion, yet 2023 is proving to be a busy year for him. He starred in the Haunted Mansion remake, released in theaters on July 28, and the Apple TV+ series Changeling, released on September 8. His next project is the Jay-Z produced The Book of Clarence, slated for an exclusive theatrical release on January 12, 2024.
Here is everything we know about the upcoming film The Book of Clarence.
What’s It About?
The Book of Clarence is an epic biblical comedy-drama about a down-and-out man named Clarence who lives in Jerusalem in 33 A.D. In order to settle his debts and support his family, Clarence takes advantage of the rising popularity of Jesus Christ by claiming himself to be a new Messiah sent by God. He puts it all on the line to build himself a glorious legacy and discovers along the way that the power of belief may be the best way out of a dire situation.
The film is written and directed by British singer-songwriter and filmmaker Jeymes Samuel, also known by the stage name The Bullits. Samuel previously directed and wrote The Harder They Fall in 2021 and composed an original score for the film. He is also the younger brother of musician Seal. Jay Z and James Lassiter, Will Smith’s long-time business partner, are billed as co-producers on the film, both having previously co-produced Samuel’s The Harder They Fall.
The star-studded cast includes Lakeith Stanfield, Omar Sy (Jurassic World and Jurassic World Dominion), Anna Diop (Titans), R.J. Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), David Oyelowo, Michael Ward (Top Boy), Alfre Woodard, musician and dancer Teyana Taylor, Caleb Mclaughlin (Stranger Things), Marianna Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies), James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch among others. Stanfield will play the titular Clarence. The film is being produced by Legendary Pictures and will be distributed by Sony Pictures.
Samuel will again provide an original score for his film. He cited the films the biblical epics The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Samson and Delilah, and Ben-Hur as direct influences on The Book of Clarence, all films that include majority white actors as opposed to Samuel’s majority black cast.
Is There a Trailer?
An official teaser trailer was released through the film’s website on August 29, 2023. The trailer features a version of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” soundtracking a slew of comedic and action-packed sequences and an appearance from James McAvoy as an antagonistic Roman Centurion. Based on the trailer, it seems the film will use a style similar to The Harder They Fall, blending contemporary music, humor, and costume touches with a historical setting. There also appears to be an extended, well-choreographed dance sequence.
The film was originally intended for a September 22, 2023 release but was delayed for unspecified reasons. The film is scheduled to premiere at the 67th London Film Festival on October 11, 2023, and is scheduled for an exclusive theatrical release on January 12, 2024.
You can’t predict success, but The Harder They Fall proved a hit with casual viewers and critics alike. Having assembled the same team behind his previous film for Clarence, one can certainly anticipate much of the same signature style that brought Jeymes Samuel’s name to the attention of big studios. If all else fails, Stanfield will undoubtedly be a pleasure to see on screen.
Keep up with Dead Talk News for future information on The Book of Clarence starring Lakeith Stanfield.
The Book of Clarence (2024) Sony Picture Entertainment Trailer