BAFTA Winning Director Jeymes Samuel (“The Harder They Fall”) is set to write and direct the film which is set in Biblical times. Filming on the big-screen spectacle has begun in Italy and the project reunites Samuel and LaKeith Stanfield, who played a gunslinger in” The Harder They Fall.”
The cast includes Omar Sy (“Intouchables,” “Lupin”), RJ Cyler (“Rap Sh!t,” ”Freedom’s Path,” “The Harder They Fall,” “Emergency”), Benedict Cumberbatch (the “Doctor Strange” films,), James McAvoy (“It Chapter Two,” the “X-Men” films), Anna Diop (“Us,” “Nanny”), Teyana Taylor (“Coming 2 America”), David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “Nightingale”), Alfre Woodard (“12 Years a Slave,” “Clemency”), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (“Surface,” “Secrets and Lies”).
Additional cast includes Caleb McLaughlin (“Stranger Things”), Babs Olusanmokun (“Dune”), Eric Kofi-Abrefa (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Nicholas Pinnock (“For Life,” “Marcella”), BAFTA winner Micheal Ward (“Empire of Light”), Chase Dillon (“The Harder They Fall”), Tom Glynn-Carney (“Dunkirk,” “House of the Dragon”), and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (“Avengers: Endgame”).
Inspired by classic Hollywood epics set in biblical times, “The Book of Clarence” tells the story of “Clarence,” a down on his luck denizen of Jerusalem embarking on a misguided attempt to capitalize on the rise of celebrity and influence of the Messiah for his own personal gain — a journey that leads him on an exploration of the idea of faith and to a highly unexpected path of his own.
Sy rocketed to international stardom with his performance in 2011’s French smash “The Intouchables,” for which he was awarded the César for Best Actor, becoming the first Black actor to do so. He stars in Netflix’s Lupin, one of the streamer’s most-watched non-English-language series, which has been renewed for a third chapter. Anna Diop can be seen in “Nanny” directed by Nikyatu Jusu.
Samuel is directing “The Book of Clarence” from an original screenplay he wrote and will produce alongside James Lassiter (“The Harder They Fall”), Tendo Nagenda (“Mulan”), and Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter (“The Harder They Fall,” “The Great Gatsby”). Garrett Grant is serving as executive producer. Samuel, who is also a singer-songwriter, music producer, will also compose the score.
“The Book of Clarence” is being filmed on location in Matera, Italy and Rome, Italy. Under Legendary’s new deal with Sony Pictures, the studio will release the film theatrically.
By Samantha Ofole-Prince