Exodus: Gods and Kings: the “faith-based” interviews

exodus-scott-bale-2Life got crazy busy around the time Exodus: Gods and Kings came out, and frankly I found the movie itself kind of dispiriting, so I haven’t been as up-to-date with the links and things as I would have liked to have been. But I hope to do a bit of catching up in the next little while, before the film fades entirely from view.

First up, some links to the interviews that director Ridley Scott and co-stars Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton did with the “faith-based” media. Exodus may be the first major Bible production since The Passion of the Christ for which I wasn’t able to snag an interview myself, but a few of my colleagues got to speak to the filmmakers after the film’s New York premiere.

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A brief comment on the Exodus: Gods and Kings casting controversy

exodus-yahoo-3Three months ago, Ridley Scott noted that the actors he hired for Exodus: Gods and Kings represent a range of different ethnicities, and hardly anyone noticed. Last week, he made an off-the-cuff remark about how he couldn’t cast some obscure Middle Eastern actor as the lead in a massively expensive movie such as this, and the internet went berserk.

Scott’s comment was quickly assumed by many people to mean that he was justifying hiring an “all-white” cast. Many people claimed, dubiously, that it would be more historically accurate if the villainous Egyptian slave masters, many of whom are killed by an act of God at the Red Sea, were played by black actors instead. (Just think what sort of controversies there would be if the film had gone that route.)

The Week’s Jonathan Merritt even went so far as to say today that no Bible movie — not even The Nativity Story, which cast a Maori girl as the Virgin Mary, a Palestinian as her mother and Iranians as her father and her cousin Elizabeth — has made any progress when it comes to “sensitivity to ethnicity”. Apparently the fact that Keisha Castle-Hughes was born in Australia disqualifies that film somehow. Seriously?

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Noah news round-up: snubs from church leaders, props from Christians who have seen the film, and more

The European promo tour for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah soldiers on. Following the film’s Berlin premiere on Thursday, the filmmakers went to Madrid for another premiere tonight, while Russell Crowe attended his first Noah premiere at the other end of Europe, in Moscow; he had missed the previous events because he was shooting a movie in Turkey.

Alas, the European tour has already encountered one hiccup of sorts: Variety reported today that the Vatican has cancelled tentative plans for a photo op that would have featured Pope Francis and a few of the filmmakers, including Crowe and Aronofsky.

Crowe, via Twitter, had been openly asking the Pope to screen the film for a few weeks now, and the Vatican reportedly gave the idea enough consideration to set some time aside for a meeting on Wednesday; but they eventually decided against it because Crowe’s presence would be too distracting to the Vatican’s other visitors.

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