Netflix has released a powerful new trailer for Come Sunday. The biopic stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Carlton Pearson, a pastor who questioned the existence of hell. Later this spring, the film will have its premiere on the streaming service.
Directed by Joshua Marston (Complete Unknown, Maria Full of Grace), Come Sunday premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21. The film examines the controversial claims made by Pearson, along with the responses of his congregation members, family members and friends. Ejiofor leads an impressive ensemble cast, including veteran actor Martin Sheen, rising star Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Atlanta), and stage actress Condola Rashād, the daughter of former NFL star Ahmad Rashad.
Netflix has released an official Come Sunday trailer online, with April 13 set as the film's premiere date. The clip begins with a dramatic introduction, as Ejiofor’s character sing-speaks “Jesus Loves Me”, setting up a speech in front of a congregation. The trailer juxtaposes existential contemplations with bold public declarations, and the cinematography has an elegant yet darkened aesthetic, perhaps representative of the main character’s inner dialogue. It’s full of bravado and philosophizing, suggesting that each character must pick a side to be figuratively saved.
As USA Today reported, Come Sunday was inspired by This American Life, a radio program hosted by Ira Glass. The 2005 episode “Heretics” examines Pearson’s work as an evangelical pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and how he “cast aside the idea of hell.” Reporter Russell Cobb guides listeners through two phases, aptly titled “Rise” and “Fall", during the 53-minute production. Thirteen years later, Netflix subscribers will have the opportunity to learn more. On Twitter, This American Life has acknowledged the new trailer, and people have begun offering their support for the cast while others have shared larger societal concerns that extend beyond the film itself. Come Sunday is scheduled to be Netflix's thirteenth original film of 2018.
With the release of the Come Sunday, Ejiofor returns to the spotlight with a challenging role. It’s been five years since the English actor stunned audiences in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave; a performance that earned Ejiofor an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While his new director, Joshua Marston, has a proven track record, he’s worked primarily in television, most recently directing two episodes of Berlin Station. Furthermore, critics mostly panned Marston's last feature, Complete Unknown. So, it will be interesting to see who does the heavy lifting in Come Sunday, and whether the film will become a trending topic on premiere night for good reasons rather than bad.
Come Sunday becomes available for streaming through Netflix starting Friday, April 13.