‘The Book of Clarence’ — Release Date, Trailer, and Everything We Know


Under the umbrella of epic cinema, biblical epics have been a popular film genre throughout the 20th century and even today. These movies frequently include vast, dramatic visuals that appeal to viewers while conveying epic tales of good vs. evil. The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959), two of this genre’s oldest and most popular movies, were renowned for their lavish production values and all-star ensembles. These films were among the most well-liked and successful ones of their day.

With the upcoming film titled The Book of Clarence, Jeymes Samuel, who previously directed the 2020 Western film The Harder They Fall with Idris Elba, Regina King, and LaKeith Stanfield, is now attempting to break into this genre. However, the film will break away from the usual religious sentiments involved with a biblical story. Here is all we currently know about The Book of Clarence.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on January 11.


Where To Watch ‘The Book of Clarence’: Find Showtimes Near You

The star-studded biblical comedy-drama lands this January.

What Is the Official Release Date of ‘The Book of Clarence’?

LaKeith Stanfield as Clarence and Anna Diop's character standing outside in ancient Jerusalem in The Book of Clarence
Image via Legendary Pictures

Sony Pictures will be releasing The Book of Clarence in theaters on January 12, 2024. The studio will handle the distribution of the movie, which the Columbia Pictures and Legendary Pictures production firms are helming. The movie was initially set to release on September 22, 2023.

Is There a Trailer for ‘The Book of Clarence’?

The first teaser trailer for The Book of Clarence came out on August 29. In the 2-minute trailer, we get a better sense of the story and plot of the film. More recently, on November 28, we got the first official trailer for The Book of Clarence, which you can see below:

What’s the Plot of ‘The Book of Clarence’?

Alfred Woodard standing in a room with her hand to her chest in the Jeymes Samuel-directed Biblical epic, The Book of Clarence
Image via Legendary Pictures

According to a summary from Sony Pictures, The Book of Clarence is inspired by vintage Hollywood epics set in biblical periods. It depicts the story of Clarence, a down-on-his-luck Jerusalemite who foolishly attempts to profit off the Messiah’s increasing fame and power for his own gain. He embarks on a trip that takes him on an investigation into the concept of faith and down an unanticipated road of his own. Though the film is set in 29 A.D. during the ministry of Jesus Christ, the movie will reportedly not be a religious project, unlike other biblical epics so Christianity won’t be at the forefront.

Fans can anticipate Jeymes Samuel’s distinctive directing style, which is characterized by a propensity to meld many genres and techniques to create visually gorgeous and emotionally impactful movies. In his films, Samuel also emphasizes the growth of the characters. A diverse ensemble of characters, each with unique motivations and backstories, are featured in his popular movie The Harder They Fall. Samuel examines each character’s distinct path throughout the picture. Fans may observe a similar investigation of Clarence, the primary character, as he transitions from trying to profit from the ascension of Christ to a very different route of spiritual study.

Who Are the Cast of ‘The Book of Clarence’?

Jeymes Samuel is known for his distinctive ways of filmmaking, and this pours out to his choice of actors too. For The Book of Clarence, Samuel will be switching out the traditionally-white casts of biblical films for a more diverse ensemble. There weren’t many historical epics acknowledging the ethnic diversity of the region and the era of the rise of Jesus Christ, and Samuel aims to change that. The Book of Clarence boasts a star-studded cast that will reunite with three members from Samuel’s last feature, The Harder They Fall. RJ Cycler, Chase Dillon, and Academy Award nominee LaKeith Stanfield will be seen on the screen again, with Stanfield portraying the titular main character, Clarence. Jacobi Howard was also announced to appear in The Book of Clarence, who played Angel in The Harder They Fall. The cast will be joined by Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past), James McAvoy (Split), Anna Diop (Nanny), Teyana Taylor (A Thousand and One), and David Oyelowo. The famous Oscar nominees Benedict Cumberbatch, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and Alfre Woodard will also play essential roles in the film.

Additional cast includes Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things), Babs Olusanmokun (Dune Part One), Eric Kofi-Abrefa (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella), Micheal Ward (Empire of Light), Chase Dillon (The Harder They Fall), Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk), and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Endgame).


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Who’s Making ‘The Book of Clarence’?

The incredibly talented Jeymes Samuel will be directing the film with an original screenplay. As with his debut feature, Samuel will also be composing original scores for the movie. He will reunite with Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and James Lassiter, who were both producers on The Harder They Fall as well. Former Netflix executive Tendo Nagenda will also join the three as a producer, and Garrett Grant is serving as executive producer. The Book of Clarence will also reunite Samuel with costume designer Antoinette Messam. Rob Hardy, who previously worked with Alex Garland on Ex Machina and Annihilation and most recently served as director of photography for Mission: Impossible: Fallout, will be in charge of the cinematography. Tom Eagles will serve as the lead editor.

Jeymes Samuel’s Previous Work

Image by Annamaria Ward

As we’ve mentioned previously, Samuel directed the surprise hit, The Harder They Fall, an amazing spin on the Western genre. He has also collaborated with Jay-Z on the short film Jay-Z: Legacy. The Book of Clarence will mark Samuel’s second feature film and his third collaboration with the megastar Jay-Z.


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