The tallest man in Canada is playing Goliath in a new movie

The makers of David and Goliath, which recently finished shooting in London and North Africa, issued a press release Tuesday announcing that the part of Goliath is being played in their film by Jerry Sokoloski, who happens to be the tallest man in Canada.

Estimates vary as to how tall, exactly, Sokoloski is. When he visited the Canadian TV show Breakfast Television several years ago, they measured him at 7’4”, but he said he had been measured “between that height and up to seven feet, 5.5 inches.” The David and Goliath press release says he’s even taller, at 7’8”.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this film, estimates also vary as to how tall the biblical Goliath was. Most of the earliest manuscripts say he was about 6’9”, but the Masoretic text used by most English translations gives his height as 9’9”. So Sokoloski is either too tall for the part or too short.

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Ridley Scott signs on to produce a movie about King David

Ridley Scott must have enjoyed his time on Exodus: Gods and Kings. First he decided to tackle another project set in ancient Egypt (i.e. the HBO series Pharaoh), and now he and his Exodus partners are tackling yet another project based on the Old Testament.

Variety reports that Scott has agreed to produce an as-yet-untitled film about King David for 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, the companies behind Exodus. It is not clear at this point whether he intends to direct it as well.

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King Solomon reimagined as a modern country-music star

“Even the wisest of men was a fool for love.”

So goes the tagline for The Song, an upcoming film that takes the story of the biblical Solomon and reimagines it as a story about a singer-songwriter dealing with fame and temptation in present-day America.

The biblical Solomon isn’t exactly known for his singing and songwriting — not like his father David, at any rate — but the Bible does say that “his songs numbered a thousand and five”. Two of the Psalms are attributed to him, and so, of course, is the Song of Songs. So it seems that this film is taking that as a jumping-off point.

The film will also make use of Ecclesiastes, a book of subversive wisdom that is also commonly attributed to Solomon.

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Who killed Goliath, anyway? And how tall was he?

This is too amusing not to pass along.

Apparently a guy named Tim Chey is preparing to direct a $50 million movie called David and Goliath, and he gave an interview to The Christian Post in which he said his movie will be “biblically correct in every way.” (Well, at least he didn’t say “biblically accurate”.)

Fred Clark notes that this might be “a tall order, as it were,” because the Bible actually has two versions of the death of Goliath: one in which he is killed by David of Bethlehem, the young man who goes on to become king of Israel, and another in which he is killed by Elhanan of Bethlehem, about whom nothing else is known.

Clark doesn’t mention it, but the unlikely similarity between the two passages (they both identify the hero as coming from Bethlehem, they both say that Goliath was from Gath and that his spear had a shaft “like a weaver’s rod”, etc.) evidently bothered the author/editor of Chronicles, who revised the Elhanan passage so that Elhanan “the Bethlehemite [bët hallahmï]” now kills “Lahmi the brother” of Goliath.

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New King David series: a “mafia show in biblical clothing”

Not too long ago, I remarked on Facebook that my kids and I had been reading The Picture Bible together, and that our journey through the end of King Saul’s reign and the beginning of King David’s was making me wonder if I should go looking for a children’s-storybook version of The Godfather. All the murderous double-crosses and betrayals committed by the generals serving both royal houses, along with David’s warning that his nephew Joab would be punished by David’s son after David’s death, had the feel of a mafia-based soap opera, or so I thought.

Apparently I’m not the only one who sees some similarities between the two stories, or genres. The Hollywood Reporter says Mark Canton, producer of 300 (2006) and its upcoming sequel, is developing a TV series called King David and billing it as a “mafia show in biblical clothing”.

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Timur Bekmambetov in talks to direct Ben-Hur remake

Seven months ago, we learned that MGM was developing a new adaptation of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the classic Lew Wallace novel that had previously been adapted by the studio in 1925 and 1959. Now comes word that Timur Bekmambetov — the Kazakh director of Night Watch (2004), Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) — is in talks to direct the film, apparently because the studio feels he has “a strong grasp on the story’s themes of revenge and redemption.”

At first glance, Bekmambetov — who specializes in heavily stylized adaptations of comic books and horror-fantasy novels — would seem an odd fit for this story, given the ancient setting and the sincerity or earnestness with which earlier films have tackled the novel’s themes. But this news sort of makes sense in light of the fact that studios have been trying for years now to imitate the success of 300 (2006), a heavily stylized adaptation of a graphic novel about the Persian invasion of Greece.

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