Ben-Hur gears up for its Italian shoot next year

benhur1959-raceThe Charlton Heston version of Ben-Hur was filmed partly at the Cinecitta Studios in Rome, so it comes as no surprise that the new version will be filmed there, too, as Variety reports today. The four-month shoot is set to begin in February.

More interesting is the fact that the new film will also be shot partly in Matera, the Italian town that was thought to be “a shocking example of European poverty” back when Pier Paolo Pasolini shot The Gospel According to St Matthew there in the 1960s, but has since become something of a tourist spot — not to mention a location for several other Bible movies.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings interview round-up (with photos and video): Christian Bale on Moses’ “sadistic” side and making Moses accessible for believers and skeptics alike

exodus-empire-dec1Time to round up some Exodus: Gods and Kings interviews.

First, Entertainment Tonight has a few brief soundbites from Christian Bale, in which, among other things, he makes the first public comments I have heard him make on the controversy over the casting of Caucasians in the key roles.

ET also has some behind-the-scenes footage of Bale as Moses shouting “You’ll never make it back! We will not harm you!” — to Egyptians fleeing the Red Sea tsunami, perhaps? — and, even more interestingly, they have a shot in which we can hear the 11-year-old boy who’s playing the voice of God call to Moses as “Moshe, Moshe.”

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Listen: the ‘Tsunami’ track from Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodusgodsandkings-soundtrackCopies of the Exodus: Gods and Kings soundtrack album, which doesn’t come out until next month, must be making the rounds already. We now have a more detailed list of its contents, and there are even a few reviews of it out there.

The biggest surprise, for me at least, is that some of the most important scenes in the film were not scored by Alberto Iglesias, whose name appears on the front cover. Instead, tracks like ‘Hittite Battle’ and ‘Tsunami’ — from the big spectacular sequences that open and close the film and give it its epic feel — were written by Harry Gregson-Williams (The Chronicles of Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven), while other tracks like ‘Lamb’s Blood’ and ‘The Chariots’ were written by Federico Jusid (The Secret in Their Eyes).

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: a new clip from the film, and a new featurette gets into the religious significance of the story

exodus-relevant-15Three weeks before the film comes out in North America, the makers of Exodus: Gods and Kings are finally zeroing in on the religious audience. A new feaurette posted by Relevant magazine features quite a few new shots of Moses during the later, shaggy-haired prophet phase of his life, and it even gives us our first look at the Hebrews smearing blood on their doorposts during the first Passover.

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Ridley Scott discusses skepticism and the “magic in science fiction” in a new Exodus: Gods and Kings featurette

exodus-epic-05Another day, another video promo for Exodus: Gods and Kings — and this one’s actually quite interesting, because it addresses the question of Moses’ beliefs head-on. Even better, director Ridley Scott — himself an avowed atheist or agnostic — seems willing to accommodate some of the more supernatural elements in the story, and he seems to want his audience to be open to that too.

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Meet Miriam, the sister of Moses, in a new Exodus clip

exodus-miriamOnce again, two different websites — one British, the other American — have posted the same “exclusive” clip from Exodus: Gods and Kings on the same day.

In an earlier clip, we saw an early scene from the film, in which Moses and Ramses were still pretty chummy with one another. Now, in today’s clip, we see Moses and Ramses at the point when their relationship takes a serious turn for the worse.

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