Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Last year we reported that Joseph Fiennes had signed on to star in Clavius, a noir-ish Bible epic about a Roman centurion investigating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now that movie—which has had its title changed to Risen in the meantime—has a trailer, depicting Fiennes brooding his way across ancient Jerusalem, digging up bodies and sealing up tombs.

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Despite a couple of goofy elements—everyone refers to Jesus as “The Nazarene,” like he’s a crime boss from The Wire, and Harry Potter’s Tom Felton is going to need more than a suit of Roman armor to stop people from thinking of him as Draco Malfoy—the actual premise looks kind of neat. The trailer plays heavily into the worries of Clavius’ conspiracy-hunting bosses, which adds a nice political angle to the story. At the same time, the idea of a hard-bitten detective interrogating his way through the cast of the Bible, trying to poke holes in a reported miracle, carries a lot of narrative weight. (Faith-phobic mystery fans should note that the movie looks like it might go the way of Ben-Hur, though, by having Clavius eventually convert to Christian beliefs, which might give them pause when Risen opens on January 22, 2016.)

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