Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



LaKeith Stanfield calls 'The Book of Clarence' a 'beautiful' story about faith

This image released by Sony Pictures shows James McAvoy, left, and LaKeith Stanfield in a scene from "The Book of Clarence."   -  
Copyright © africanews
Moris Puccio/ 2023 Legendary Entertainment. All rights reserved. MORIS PUCCIO


LaKeith Stanfield says he was eager to reunite with writer-director Jeymes Samuel for "The Book of Clarence."

"As soon as I saw 29 A.D., I said, 'I'm doing it.' It was just beautiful," said the actor.

Cyler and Stanfield previously worked with Samuel on Netflix's "The Harder They Fall"—a Western comedy that centers Black cowboys at the front of its story.

Samuel returns to the big screen with another comedic period piece, placing his characters in the heart of biblical history as the spiritual leader Jesus gains popularity, leading to the birth of Christianity.

"Once you see the timeline, 'What this is where we're playing at? I've never gotten to play here,' expressed Cyler. "And once you read the script, it's like, 'Oh, can I, can I be? I'll be an extra!'"

Instead of re-telling Jesus's story in the biblical epic, Samuel turns the focus on an everyman character named Clarence (Stanfield) who doesn't believe in faith but decides to become a Messiah in an attempt to free himself of a large debt and make a name for himself.

While comedic, the film does not shy away from addressing themes of injustice that are relevant today.

"You cannot afford to tell a story like this and not touch on big themes that is affecting humanity," said David Oyelowo, who portrays John the Baptist. "And the great thing about this is that we do it with comedy. We do it through music. We do it with the representation of Black people who you very rarely see in this kind of movie and yet are, you know, a huge percentage of the people of faith on the planet. And so I think the combination of all of that makes the film both radical and special."

"The Book of Clarence" is produced by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and premieres in theatres on Jan. 12. It also stars Teyana Taylor, Omar Sy, Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy and Caleb Laughlin.