Bale charges into battle as Moses in new Exodus pic

When Ridley Scott’s life-of-Moses movie Exodus was first announced five years ago — long before Scott himself became involved with the movie — it was pitched as a “visually stunning action piece” that would owe as much to films like 300 and Braveheart as it did to any of the more conventional versions of this story.

So far, though, there has been a lack of action in the pictures we have seen from this film. All of the unauthorized pictures have shown Moses (played by Christian Bale) and others standing on the set, and the one authorized picture released a few weeks ago showed him sitting on a horse.

That changes now with Entertainment Weekly’s 2014 preview, which the Christian Bale fansite Baleheads Blog has scanned and posted for our benefit:

We don’t normally think of Moses as an actual fighter — we tend to think of him as more of a spiritual leader to the Hebrews — but there are ancient traditions regarding his success as a military leader during the time he spent as an Egyptian prince. So, in which part of Moses’ life does the battle depicted here take place?

The quote from Ridley Scott (“You have to treat [the story] with great respect”) is also interesting, as it strikes a somewhat different tone from some of the more caustic comments he has made in the past. I don’t expect him to downplay his agnosticism, but still: is he already working on his sales pitch to religious audiences?

Incidentally, how many different kinds of armour can you count in this picture? (Click on it for a much bigger, much higher-resolution version.) How many different ethnic groups are represented in this battle? This movie is currently set to come out just five days before The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which will feature the famous Battle of the Five Armies — could the two films have something in common here?

Finally, just to keep everything under one roof, as it were: Here are the other pictures I have posted from this film over the last few months, in reverse chronological order.

First, Scott directing Bale:

Second, the first “official” image of Bale as Moses, against a backdrop that is oddly reminiscent of Scott’s previous 3D film Prometheus, from Empire magazine:

Third, an earlier picture of Bale and a few of his fellow soldiers, in their armour:

Finally, one of many pictures of Bale that first popped up on Just Jared in October; in this one, he stands next to Joel Edgerton, who plays the Pharaoh Ramesses:

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • KarlUdy

    I think there are only two armies shown in the picture – the Egyptians wearing the traditional Egyptian headdresses, and another army wearing pointy helmets (perhaps Amelekite or Midianite). It looks to come from Moses time as a prince of Egypt. My guess is that those wearing scale armour are nobles/knights in the Egyptian army as the other person wearing scale armour is is attacking someone with a pointy helmet, which would mean that Moses is fighting on the Egyptian side.

    The interesting “anomalies are the Nubian (who could be a mercenary or slave for either side), and the insignia on Moses’ armour, which does not look very Egyptian.

    btw the Bale on the horse pic really does seem to be channelling Heston.


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