‘The Book of Clarence’: LaKeith Stanfield and Omar Sy to Star in Jeymes Samuel Western

The Harder They Fall, Jaymes Samuel’s feature debut, was a huge success for Netflix, soon becoming one of the platform’s most-streamed material in 2021. The Book of Clarence, his follow-up, is well along in terms of production, and there are high expectations for Samuel’s forthcoming effort. Omar Sy (Lupin) and Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, The Harder They Fall) were cast as the film’s stars in October, with Stanfield playing the eponymous character, Clarence.

First, consult The Book of Clarence

Fans and pundits alike have been waiting for Jaymes Samuel’s comeback with bated breath. The original premise of The Harder They Fall puts viewers into a gritty, Afrocentric retribution western starring Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors.

During its first week, the launch surged in popularity, beating out numerous major hitters in the competition to the top. It garnered Samuel a BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer, cementing the multidimensional director’s status as a filmmaker to watch.

Clarence’s Book revolves upon the following:

The Book of Clarence, inspired by great Hollywood epics set in biblical periods, tells the story of “Clarence,” a down on his luck Jerusalemite who begins on a foolish attempt to profit on the Messiah’s reputation and power for his own personal benefit. It is a voyage that takes him on a study of the concept of faith as well as down an unexpected road of his own.

Clarence cast and Production

'The Book of Clarence': LaKeith Stanfield and Omar Sy to Star in Jeymes Samuel Western

Clarence was unveiled among several other programmes at their 2011 upfront. Page, a former Adventure Time storyboard artist and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome revisionist, created the show.

He was the network’s fourth inventor to have graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, and he was also the network’s youngest at 24 years old.

Cartoon Network Studios created the show as part of its shorts development programme in 2012; four other shows, Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, We Bare Bears, and Long Live the Royals, all came from this effort.

The show was created at CalArts by Page and creative director Nelson Boles. When Page was hired at Cartoon Network Studios, it was given more thought. The pilot episode was polished by a group of two or three people; after it was picked up, a crew of 30 to 35 writers, storyboard artists, revisionists, colorists, and designers were hired.

Meanwhile, the animation is being outsourced to South Korea via Saerom Animation. Page noted that the most difficult aspect of production was keeping up with the pace, especially because each episode had to be restarted. This was “exciting,” but “extremely tough,” he said.

Reception

Clarence was first seen at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International. Cartoon Network had commissioned twelve quarter-hour episodes, with the pilot episode premiering on February 17, 2014, following the Hall of Game Awards presentation. In 2013, the pilot received a nomination for “Outstanding Short-format Animated Program” at the 65th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The debut episode, which aired on April 14, 2014, drew an estimated 2.3 million viewers, surpassing shows in the same demographic in the same time slot by double and triple digit percentages. Meanwhile, preliminary data indicated that it was the network’s most watched series launch that year.

Three-star review

In a three-star review, Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media advised parents of “a similar brand of silliness and crudeness” as Adventure Time—though less severe—but hailed the actors as “oddly appealing”.

Nancy Basile of About.com praised the conversation for its length and thought the characters’ interactions were dynamic and authentic, with a dash of comedy tossed in. Whitney Matheson of USA Today considered Clarence to be “just the right amount” of optimism and surreal humor, and she advised both children and parents to watch its premiere.

Mercedes Milligan characterized it in Animation Magazine as “a breath of fresh suburban air” and a celebration of childhood. TV Guide’s Nivea Serrao compared the show to most fantasy animated series.

In addition, Samuel has dropped a few hints regarding his future movie. In an interview with Deadline, he said Clarence is set in 29 A.D. and has parallels to other great biblical epics like The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Samson and Delilah, and Ben-Hur.

Samuel reprised his positions as director, producer, original screenplay writer, and composer. Tendo Nagenda, James Lassiter, and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter were all returning as producers on this project, marking their second collaboration with Samuel. Executive producer is Garrett Grant (The Matrix Resurrections, Hairspray). The film was one of the first to be distributed theatrically as part of a new distribution collaboration between Legendary and Sony Pictures.

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