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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Newsbites: Noah! Christ the Lord! Nazareth! A.D.! Clavius!

vlcsnap-2014-10-03-16h10m29s238Happy Monday. Here’s a round-up of recent Bible-movie news (with pictures!) to help you start the week.

1. Darren Aronofsky, whose films have received serious Oscar buzz more often than not (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan were all nominated for their acting, among other things, and the last of those films actually won), is still doing what he can to keep Noah on the Academy’s mind.

Last week he spoke to Variety about the excellent work that cinematographer Matthew Libatique, production designer Mark Friedberg, editor Andrew Weisblum, visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker, composer Clint Mansell and, of course, Patti Smith contributed to the film; and tonight, Aronofsky and Smith will be hosting a screening of the film at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

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Ouija star Olivia Cooke may play Judah Ben-Hur’s sister

oliviacookeBen-Hur’s family is coming together. Just two days after it was announced that 45-year-old Ayelet Zurer is in talks to play the title character’s mother in the new version of Ben-Hur, The Wrap reports that Ouija star Olivia Cooke, who turns 21 next month, is being considered for the part of Judah Ben-Hur’s sister Tirzah. Judah himself is being played by Jack Huston, who turns 32 next month. (In the 1959 movie, Judah and Tirzah were played by Charlton Heston and Cathy O’Donnell, who were both 35, and their mother was played by Martha Scott, who was 46. In the 2010 miniseries, Judah was played by Joseph Morgan, 28; Tirzah was played by Kristin Kreuk, 27; and their mother was played by Alex Kingston, 46.)

Meet the 11-year-old boy who speaks for God when Moses sees the burning bush in Exodus: Gods and Kings

isaacandrewsBack in February, it was reported that Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings would feature “an unconventional depiction of God”. Now we have a better idea of what that report was talking about.

The Hollywood Reporter says Isaac Andrews, an 11-year-old who recently played a young Thracian prince in Hercules, appears in Exodus as a boy named Malak who “meets Moses in front of a burning bush” and “reappears thereafter to guide and debate Moses, who soon realizes the child is speaking as God.”

This is a striking departure from previous Moses movies, which have usually depicted God as a disembodied voice that is often provided by the actor playing Moses himself. But there is actually a biblical precedent for giving God and Moses a go-between like this.

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The mother of Kal-El is in talks to play the mother of Ben-Hur

ayeletzurerGal Gadot may be out as the love interest in Ben-Hur, due to the fact that she’s too busy playing Wonder Woman, but another Israeli actress with experience in the DC Comics movie universe is stepping in — to play Judah Ben-Hur’s mother, rather than his lover.

The Hollywood Reporter says Ayelet Zurer, who played Superman’s mother in Man of Steel, is in talks to play Naomi, one of two women in Ben-Hur’s family (the other is his sister Tirzah) who, in the original story at least, are sent to prison and become lepers there after Ben-Hur is betrayed by his former friend Messala.

Zurer’s other high-profile English-language films include Munich and Angels & Demons.

Ben-Hur’s mother doesn’t have a name in the original novel. In the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston she was called Miriam and played by the distinctly non-Israeli Martha Scott. (Fun fact: Ben-Hur marked the second time that Scott played Heston’s mother onscreen, following the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments.)

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Watch: Moses and Ramses disagree over how to attack the Hittites in the first clip from Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodusgodsandkings-141110One of these days, I will write about something other than Exodus: Gods and Kings. But for now, the studio keeps putting out new materials — including, on this occasion, a new poster and our first actual clip from the film — and I’m keeping up with it all as best as I can.

The new poster went up at 20th Century Fox’s Facebook page yesterday, and it’s interesting to see how it makes Moses look really, really small next to that giant tidal wave by the Red Sea. In a way, it resembles the early posters for Noah — biblical heroes, deadly storms, lots of water — but of course it’s quite different, too, because it makes the hero such a tiny part of the picture.

Next, there is our first clip from the film — and, as you might expect, it features the clash of Egyptian and Hittite armies at the Battle of Kadesh. It also, however, hints at the character dynamic between Moses and Ramses: while the two “brothers” are still friends at this point, Moses disagrees with Ramses’ tactical decisions, and Ramses quickly puts Moses in his place. The impression you get is that Moses is smarter, but Ramses is a little more protective of his position within the social hierarchy.

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