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).

Exodus: Gods and Kings: no “parting” of the Red Sea? Also: Christian Bale says Moses was “likely schizophrenic”.

vlcsnap-2014-10-01-12h49m26s72Last month, I asked if Exodus: Gods and Kings will offer a “naturalistic” depiction of the parting of the Red Sea, rather than a miraculous one. My question was prompted by a comment that Ridley Scott made to the effect that the Red Sea story may have been inspired by a giant tsunami that may have hit the coast of Egypt thousands of years ago. At the time, it was not clear whether Scott was actually going to follow that interpretation within his film — but now, thanks to an interview in Entertainment Weekly, it seems pretty clear that he will.
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Warner options Rabbi Wolpe’s David: The Divided Heart

david-dividedheartNot too long ago, Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox were in a race to make a movie about Moses. Eventually Fox gave its film the greenlight — they even stole the title of the Warner Brothers movie, which was never made in the end — and the result was Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. Now it’s time for a rematch. A few months ago, Fox and Scott announced that they were developing a movie about King David. And now The Tracking Board reports that Warner has optioned the rights to David: The Divided Heart, a book by popular rabbi David Wolpe that examines some of the contradictions in David’s personality. The film, which has the working title King David, is being developed by Matt Phelps and Mike Karz, whose credits include the animated film The Nut Job and the Adam Sandler comedy Blended. Not exactly the most promising of résumés, to be sure, but hey.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman adds Methuselah to his list of unconventional takes on the Bible

vlcsnap-2013-11-14-11h09m54s155Methuselah, who was recently played by Anthony Hopkins in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, wasn’t the only man in the Bible who lived to be over 900 years old. But he lived at least a few years longer than everyone else, so his name has become synonymous with extreme old age.

No one ever tells stories about Seth, Enosh, Kenan or Jared — all of whom lived to be over 900 years old as well — and the fact that Adam and Noah lived to be that old is generally forgotten in films about those characters. It is Methuselah that everyone remembers, simply because he lived longer than any of the rest of them.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings has a rating, a running time, and a new video of Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton

exodus-DF-02915_2917R-aOf the 21 films that Ridley Scott directed prior to making Exodus: Gods and Kings, fully two-thirds were rated R. This includes the historical epics Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, but it does not include the historical epics 1492: Conquest of Paradise or Robin Hood.

So I’ve been wondering what rating Exodus would get from the MPAA when all was said and done. And now we know: it is rated PG-13 for “violence including battle sequences and intense images”.

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Regina Hall to star in a thriller called The Surrogate. Is this identical to the movie Halle Berry almost starred in?

Five years ago, it was reported that Paul Verhoeven was going to direct The Surrogate, a thriller based on a Christian novel and produced by one of the industry’s best-known Christian producers.

It was also reported that Halle Berry might star in the film, as a wife who is so desperate for a child that she turns to a surrogate mother, only to discover afterwards that the woman carrying her baby is insane.

Verhoeven was still talking about the film a year later, but I haven’t heard a peep about it since. As of now, however, I wonder if the project might be happening again, but with a different creative team.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: lots of new photos and new plot details as the studio previews up to 45 minutes of footage

exodus-oct17-8The publicity campaign for Exodus: Gods and Kings is stepping up, just a month and a half before the film opens overseas (click here for the release dates).

20th Century Fox, which already screened about half-an-hour of footage for the media two weeks ago, screened even more footage for reporters in New York and Los Angeles yesterday, and plans to do the same in Washington DC next week. The footage may have also screened in Toronto, to go by a report that appeared in the Toronto Sun on Wednesday.

Various details have leaked out from those screenings, and the studio has added to the new information by releasing some new pictures, including photos of actors we had not yet seen in any of the official press materials. Check ’em out below the jump.

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