LaKeith Stanfield Is on a Divine Mission in Gripping Trailer for Biblical Epic 'The Book of Clarence'

The Oscar nominee leads a star-studded cast in Jeymes Samuel's "The Book of Clarence," opening in theaters on Jan. 12, 2024

LaKeith Stanfield is setting his sights on the divine in The Book of Clarence.

On Tuesday, Sony Pictures dropped a teaser trailer for the upcoming biblical epic from Jeymes Samuel (The Harder They Fall), which follows Stanfield's title character in "a bold new take on the timeless Biblical-era epic," an official synopsis reads.

"Streetwise but down-on-his-luck, Clarence (Stanfield, 32) is struggling to find a better life for his family, while fighting to free himself of debt," the synopsis continues.

It concludes, "Captivated by the power and glory of the rising Messiah and His apostles, he risks everything to carve his own path to a divine life, and ultimately discovers that the redemptive power of belief may be his only way out."

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<p>MORIS PUCCIO/Sony Pictures</p>

MORIS PUCCIO/Sony Pictures

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Aside from Stanfield, the film also stars Omar Sy, Anna Diop, RJ Cyler, David Oyelowo, Micheal Ward, Alfre Woodard, Teyana Taylor, Caleb McLaughlin, Eric Kofi-Abrefa and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, with James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch.

It also features new music from writer-director Samuel, 44, plus JAY-Z and more, an official release promises.

The trailer opens in Jerusalem in AD 33, with Stanfield's Clarence admitting he is "not a man without faults." He is also shown witnessing Jesus of Nazareth's presence in town.

"I want to be like that in 10 years," Elijah (Cyler, 28) tells Clarence, who responds with conviction, "I want to be like that now."

"God sent me to deliver this message: I am your new messiah," an arms-wide-open Clarence later declares in front of a jubilant crowd.

<p>MORIS PUCCIO/Sony Pictures</p>

MORIS PUCCIO/Sony Pictures

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In an interview with Vanity Fair published Monday, Samuel said that with The Book of Clarence, he set out "to tell a Bible story about an everyman."

"I always wanted to explore the Bible stories, but from the angle of the person that sells Jesus his sandals, the woman or man that owns the hair salon," the musician and filmmaker explained.

He also described Clarence's "journey" in the film as one "of self-belief and world discovery."

"“I think a lot of us have the issue of not only outside belief, but inside belief," Samuel added.

The Book of Clarence premieres exclusively in theaters on Jan. 12, 2024.

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