Jeymes Samuel’s The Book of Clarence — A Jesus story done right?

Jeymes Samuel's The Book of Clarence

Samuel’s original screenplay, The Book of Clarence, casts Stanfield as Clarence, a character grappling with his identity in Jerusalem during the rise of Jesus as the Messiah. Clarence, feeling unable to join Jesus and his disciples in their journey, chooses to emulate Jesus instead. He begins delivering his own sermons and cleverly simulates “miracles” to influence others.

In this film, Samuel masterfully balances humor with respect for Christian symbols and beliefs. The mood in the movie is skillfully crafted, never crossing into disrespect. Notably, the film offers insightful commentary on faith and foundational religious and societal values that remain pertinent even after two millennia.

Here is everything you need to know about the film, including its cast, release date, filming location, and synopsis.

Where to watch The Book of Clarence?

The Book of Clarence is still available in theaters in USA. There is no word about the UK release date but we are expecting seeing it in March 2024 in UK.

When is The Book of Clarence coming to Netflix?

As of now a Netflix release date for the film is not announced. But after looking its cenima collection and average ratings we are expecting it wil release on Netflix earlier than expected. We are expecting seeing it on Netflix by the end of Feburary 2024.

The Book of Clarence trailer

The Book of Clarence’s release date

The Book of Clarence was first released in BFI London Film Festival on October 11, 2023 and then on January 12, 2024 in theaters in USA. It generated favourable reviews but couldn’t breakeven it production and marketing cost ($40M) and collected $3.6 million.

The film has a 6/10 rating on IMDb and is written and directed by Jeymes Samuel. Samuel is a writer, director and song writer best know for his productions like They Die by Dawn, The Great Gatsby and many more. He has been nominated for several awards and won one BAFTA for The Harder They Fall.

More about the movie

The film thoughtfully explores faith and timeless religious and social themes, maintaining their relevance from 2000+ years ago.

A significant part of this impact is due to Stanfield’s performance. He flawlessly blends the charisma of a movie star with top-tier acting skills. Stanfield infuses Clarence with a contemporary edge, enhancing the film’s humor. Yet, it’s his portrayal of genuine emotional depth, especially in scenes with his mother and brother and a pivotal transformation in the final scene, that stands out, a skill he’s honed since Short Term 12.

The film does encounter a brief period where Clarence’s journey seems somewhat forced or hurried, but this doesn’t detract from Stanfield’s compelling portrayal.

The music is another vital element of the film’s appeal, a nod to Samuel’s origins as musician The Bullitts. Samuel’s original compositions, alongside tracks from artists like Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi, inject fresh vibrancy into this biblical narrative, distinguishing it from classics like Ben-Hur or more recent films like Exodus: Gods and Kings.

While the film initially struggles to establish its pace and encounters occasional storytelling hiccups, its overall impact is undeniable. Samuel’s bold approach as a filmmaker shines through, making The Book of Clarence a strikingly unique interpretation of biblical themes, succeeding more often than not in its ambitious execution.

The cast of The Book of Clarence

The main cast members in the movie are listed below.

  1. LaKeith Stanfield as Clarence / Thomas – Known for Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, and the TV series Atlanta.
  2. Omar Sy as Barabbas – Starred in The Intouchables, Jurassic World, and the TV series Lupin.
  3. Anna Diop as Varinia – Featured in Us, Titans (TV series), and 24: Legacy (TV series).
  4. RJ Cyler as Elijah – Known for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Power Rangers, and the TV series I’m Dying Up Here.
  5. David Oyelowo as John the Baptist – Appeared in Selma, A United Kingdom, and the TV movie Nightingale.
  6. Micheal Ward as Judas Iscariot – Notable for Blue Story, Top Boy (TV series), and Small Axe (TV series).
  7. Alfre Woodard as Virgin Mary – Renowned for 12 Years a Slave, Clemency, and the TV series Luke Cage.
  8. Brian Bovell as Joseph – Known for Love Actually, Babylon (TV series), and Gimme Gimme Gimme (TV series).
  9. Teyana Taylor as Mary Magdalene – Appeared in Coming 2 America, The Trap, and the TV show Hit the Floor.
  10. Caleb McLaughlin as Dirty Zeke – Famous for his role in Stranger Things (TV series) and Concrete Cowboy.
  11. Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Amina, Clarence’s mother – Known for Secrets & Lies, Blindspot (TV series), and Without a Trace (TV series).
  12. Eric Kofi-Abrefa as Jedediah the Terrible – Featured in Blue Story and the TV series Law & Order: UK.
  13. James McAvoy as Pontius Pilate – Starred in the X-Men series, Split, and Atonement.
  14. Benedict Cumberbatch as Benjamin – Famous for Sherlock (TV series), Doctor Strange, and The Imitation Game.
  15. Chase Dillon as Cabbage – Known for The Underground Railroad (TV series) and Little America (TV series).
  16. Nicholas Pinnock as Jesus – Featured in For Life (TV series), Top Boy (TV series), and Fortitude (TV series).
  17. Babs Olusanmokun as Asher the Torturer – Appeared in Black Mirror (TV series), The Night Of (TV series), and Wrath of Man.
  18. Chidi Ajufo as Goliath – Known for The Gentlemen, Wrath of Man, and the TV series See.
  19. Tom Glynn-Carney as Decimus – Featured in Dunkirk, The King, and the TV series The Last Post.
  20. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Antoninus – Known for Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and the TV series Love/Hate.

The Book of Clarence in news & reviews

Accoridng to The NewYork Times, The Book of Clarence ambitiously strives to connect with modern audiences while paying homage to classic Hollywood biblical epics like Ben-Hur. The writer and director, Jeymes Samuel, demonstrates a deep understanding and affection for the biblical narrative. Yet, he does not confine himself to a strictly literal interpretation of the scriptures in his adaptation.

Wrap Up

The Book of Clarence, is not just another Jeasus movie, but it deal with the subject cautiously. It is not the first time a film has been made on this subject, in the past, we saw Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, William Wyler’s Ben-Hur, and many more.

The film is still in theaters but will hit OTT platforms next month (our prediction).

Written by Mickel Clark

Mickel is a streaming aficionado who loves nothing more than to pen down his thoughts about the movies, anime and TV shows he has watched and likes sharing hacks on how to stream them online.