Moses joins the Bar Kokhba revolt, and other anachronisms in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodus-yahoo-4Yesterday, 20th Century Fox released a new featurette on the locations for Exodus: Gods and Kings. Among other things, it contained one never-before-seen shot from the film, of Moses secretly visiting with Joshua’s father Nun and some other “Hebrew scholars”.

Today, a sharp-eyed reader pointed out to me that there is an engraving behind Nun in this newly-revealed shot, and that the engraving seems to be based on a coin that was minted by Jewish rebels during the Bar Kokhba revolt — a war against the Romans that was waged about 1,400 years after the events of this film. The engraving even seems to include the letters that spell Bar Kokhba’s first name, Shim’on:
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Exodus: Gods and Kings: the Hebrew slaves speak!

exodus-empire-mosesjoshua-a-aThe October issue of Empire magazine is out, and with it, a new article looking at Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. This time the primary interviewees are Aaron Paul and Ben Kingsley, who play the Hebrew slaves Joshua and his father Nun — and they reveal a bit more about the role that their characters play in the story, and in shaping the destiny of Moses.

The article also comes with new pictures, including the one to the right, which gives us our first good sense of what the Moses of the Exodus — as opposed to the Moses who is a prince of Egypt — will look like.

The key thing we learn from the article is how the characters Joshua and Nun become a part of Moses’ life in the first place.

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Ridley Scott discusses the “international cast” of Exodus: Gods and Kings in a new interview (plus: new photos!)

exodus-yahoo-3Three months and a few days before it opens in New Zealand, the publicity campaign for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings continues to step up. The latest example: an interview with Ridley Scott on Yahoo! Australia, accompanied by some brand-new pictures.

In the interview, Scott repeats a few things that he has said before, and it’s kind of hard to resist nitpicking some of his claims. For example, he once again says he wasn’t paying attention in his “religious instruction” classes when he was a boy, and that he had “no idea” how close Moses and Ramses were when they grew up together — but the Bible never says who the Pharaoh of the Exodus was, much less that he was ever close to Moses. Scott also says the story takes place “5000 years ago”, when in actual fact the historical Ramses II reigned just over 3200 years ago.

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The next Pharaoh… will come from Vancouver

avanjogiaWe have a King Tut! The Hollywood Reporter says Avan Jogia, a 22-year-old born in my native Vancouver, has been cast as the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who died when he was about 18, in the Spike TV miniseries Tut. He joins the previously announced Ben Kingsley, who will play Tutankhamun’s grand vizier. Interestingly, both of these actors are half-British and half-Indian — and Reece Ritchie, who played the Pharaoh in the recently cancelled Hieroglyph, is a half-English, half-South African actor who has often played Indian characters himself, in films and TV shows like The Lovely Bones, All in Good Time and White Heat. Apparently the casting agents on these shows want to move away from the Caucasian casting that has proved so controversial on films like Exodus: Gods and Kings (coming December 12) and Gods of Egypt (coming in 2016), but they also aren’t inclined to follow the Afrocentrist line which holds that just because Egypt is on the African continent, it therefore follows that the ancient Egyptians must have been just as dark-skinned as the Nubians or Ethiopians, etc. The solution, it seems, has been to cast actors who fall somewhere between the two extremes, pigmentation-wise.

He’s Pharaoh! He’s Moses! He’s somebody else entirely! Ben Kingsley talks Exodus, appears in Night at the Museum trailer

vlcsnap-2014-07-31-22h09m42s196Two movies. Same studio. Coming out only a week apart. Both of them have something to do with ancient Egypt. And both of them star Ben Kingsley in a prominent supporting role.

One of those movies is Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the third in the series about a bunch of museum exhibits that come to life at night. The series already has a Pharaoh — Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), who appears in all three films — but Kingsley joins the series as yet another Pharaoh in this newest film.

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Ben Kingsley returns to ancient Egypt — again! — in Tut

Ben Kingsley can’t get enough of ancient Egypt, it seems. First he starred in the 1995 TV-movies Joseph and Moses, playing Potiphar and Moses respectively. Soon we will see him play a Pharaoh in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and the father of Joshua in Exodus: Gods and Kings (both coming in December). And now, as of today, the word on the street is that Kingsley will have a major part in the Spike TV miniseries Tut. Kingsley, who is 70, definitely won’t be playing the titular Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who died when he was about 18. Instead, he will play “Ay, the grand vizier to King Tutankhamun, who wields tremendous power and influence as the top advisor to the young Egyptian ruler.” The miniseries will shoot in Morocco and Canada (!) in the fall, and will air sometime next year.


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