Following the success of The Harder They Fall, which was written and directed by Jeymes Samuel and starred LaKeith Stanfield among other heavy hitters, Samuel and Stanfield are teaming up once again for the film, The Book of Clarence.
While speaking with Deadline, Samuel revealed the Bible-era project:
So, my next movie is The Book of Clarence. And LaKeith Stanfield will play Clarence. And I’m taking it all the way back to the Bible era. You remember those biblical epics, whether they were about the Bible or just taking place around it, from The Ten Commandments to The Greatest Story Ever Told, Samson and Delilah and Ben-Hur, which runs alongside all that stuff in the Bible? As will be The Book of Clarence, a full fun-filled extravaganza. It’s written and ready to go, and set in 29 AD.
Like his love of Westerns but disdain for the erasure of Black stories in the Western genre, Samuel is hoping to do the same with his biblical tale.
SAMUEL: This is exactly what excites me. Firstly, the Bible’s the biggest franchise in the world. The biggest superhero, the most famous superhero of all time is Jesus himself. But when I used to learn about those things when I was a kid, I used to say to myself, “Where did Jesus buy his sandals from? Did he walk around barefoot? Did he buy his clothes or did people just say, “Hey Jesus, wear this?” Was there a particular brand that he liked, or a particular tailor who made his shawl? Where did Mary Magdalene get her hair done? They didn’t have any hair salons since the Cleopatra days. What currency did they spend? All that stuff the Bible doesn’t speak of fascinates me about the era. The Bible just gives you bricks. But the mortar you’re meant to fill in yourself. I want to show who he bought them from and what that guy was doing. What the guy that sold him those sandals had for breakfast, for dinner. Who was in the hood? Who was the troublemaker, or the cool dude that the girls liked? Who was the kid with aspirations? Who was the nincompoop? That stuff is what fascinates me about that era. The Book of Clarence is all of that stuff. It’s a really awesome, awesome, awesome tale.
SAMUEL: . . . People not understanding the viability of what happens if you put Black people in major roles. Quentin put one Black guy in cowboy clothes [in 2012’s Django Unchained] and had the biggest movie of his career. This is just something that, when you give people something they’ve never seen before and they’re not used to seeing, there’s a huge appetite for it. So, take Black people in the Bible days. As my mother said, “The difference between The Harder They Fall, Jeymes, and The Book of Clarence is, I’ve been waiting for The Harder They Fall for my whole life. But The Book of Clarence? That’s the one I’ve really been waiting for my whole life.’ So, my mother’s been waiting her whole life and her mother’s been waiting for her whole life. Like everyone in the Bible.
Samuel’s next pojrect The Book of Clarence sounds interesting. He didn’t divulge anymore information on it but he is looking to start shooting it by the end of the this year.