Moses and the Pharaoh have swords in new Exodus posters

The first posters for Exodus: Gods and Kings are here — and for a film that is supposedly going to be promoted as the next big battle epic from the director of Gladiator, it’s striking to see how sombre and lacking in action these first promotional images are.

They’re also strangely colourless. As you can see from the main poster to the right — which shows Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses kind of glaring at each other while they touch their swords — the images are essentially black-and-white, except for gold-tinted highlights and just a hint of blue.

I also can’t recall ever seeing a Moses movie that made a pyramid as central to its imagery as this poster does. It gives the poster an Illuminati-esque feel, and I’m afraid the first thing it brings to mind is the fact that Exodus director Ridley Scott is attached to an HBO series which will play on the idea that the ancient Egyptian civilization was built in part with help from aliens.

Anyway, here’s a larger version of the main poster:

And here are the other two posters released today, one featuring Bale (with his sword up) and one featuring Edgerton (with his sword down):

To get a sense of how static these images are, compared to the posters for other recent ancient epics, here are the original domestic and international posters for Noah, which emphasize apocalyptic disaster — the falling rain! the crashing waves! — and the threat of violence posed by the weapon in Noah’s hand:

And here is the poster for Son of God, the bottom portion of which emphasizes the turmoil between the Jewish protestors and their Roman occupiers:

You could argue that the original poster for Gladiator was somewhat static too — just Russell Crowe holding a sword — but notice the words rising behind him:

And certainly the poster for Scott’s subsequent epic, Kingdom of Heaven, was a lot more dynamic than the posters for Exodus: Gods and Kings:

Ah well. The new movie isn’t due for another five months, and we’ll probably see even more posters before it comes out. Hopefully the next ones will be better.

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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).