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Joseph Fiennes goes Jesus-hunting in the trailer for religious thriller Risen

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.

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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