The Exodus: Gods and KingsLawrence of Arabia overlap

wadirumEntertainment Weekly has a new interview with Ridley Scott in which the director discusses some of the films he plans to make after he finishes Exodus: Gods and Kings, such as the sequels to Prometheus and Blade Runner.

First up is The Martian, which is set on Mars — and Scott says he’ll probably shoot the Martian scenes in a place in Jordan called Wadi Rum. Entertainment Weekly then goes on to explain that this location was previously used in Lawrence of Arabia — where it served as the home of Auda Abu Tayi, the Arab chieftain played by Anthony Quinn — and, more recently, in Scott’s own Exodus: Gods and Kings.

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Darwin Shaw on playing St Peter (and a Lego Bond villain)

The apostle Peter is not the first biblical character that Darwin Shaw has played in his decade or so as an actor. You can see him briefly as Adam, in a new prologue to the Campus Crusade film Jesus (1979) that was shot a few years ago, and you can also see him as the “Semitic Jesus” in Gospel of Thomas (2009), an interactive adaptation of the Gnostic text that allows you to toggle between different actors. (Another actor plays the “Western Jesus”.)

But Peter is easily the biggest role of this sort that Shaw has tackled so far. He appears in all five of the New Testament-themed episodes in last year’s mini-series The Bible, and he will appear again this week in Son of God, the big-screen movie that consists mostly of footage from that mini-series but also includes a few new scenes.

I spoke to Shaw — whose credits also include Casino Royale (2006), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), John Carter (2012) and a deleted scene from Prometheus (2012) — by phone last week while he was in Los Angeles to promote Son of God.

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Ridley Scott’s “unconventional depiction of God” in Exodus

Many blogs were quick to note The Hollywood Reporter’s story today on the making of Noah. Few if any, however, noted a sidebar to the Reporter story which gave a nod to the other two Bible movies coming out this year, i.e. Son of God and Ridley Scott’s Exodus.

The sidebar doesn’t offer much new info about either of those films, but it does include this bit about Exodus: “Details are scarce, but sources tell THR that Scott, an avowed agnostic, has chosen an unconventional depiction of God in the film. If so, it faces the same challenge in wooing religious audiences as Noah does.”

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Our first official look at Christian Bale as Moses in Exodus

Two months ago, we saw some pictures of Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramesses on the set of Ridley Scott’s Exodus — but those were basically paparazzi shots, unauthorized by the studio. Today, however, we have our first officially-sanctioned picture of Bale as Moses, courtesy of Empire magazine — and, like the earlier pictures which showed Moses holding a bow and arrow, the new picture is slightly unusual in that it shows Moses sitting on a horse, which I can’t recall seeing him do in any other film before. (He usually walks or, in his prince-of-Egypt days, drives a chariot.) You almost wonder if Scott is subconsciously turning this into another Robin Hood movie. Anyhoo. Click on the picture above to see a bigger version of it.

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Is Ridley Scott’s Exodus the first Bible epic to be shot in 3D?

The first big wave of 3D films came and went in the early 1950s, right around the time when Bible epics were surging in popularity — but to my knowledge, the two trends never met. No Bible films were made in 3D back then, nor have any Bible films been made in 3D since then.

Well, that all changes right now, because it turns out Ridley Scott is shooting his life-of-Moses movie Exodus in 3D, and doing so with the same cinematographer who produced such fantastic 3D images for him in last year’s Prometheus. We can only hope that the script they’re working with will be much, much better this time, but it seems a safe bet that Exodus will look great, at least. The IMDb has the details.

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Star Trek into Darkness — first impressions (spoilers!)

This post has taken a lot longer to write than I expected. I saw Star Trek into Darkness on Wednesday night (the studio, in its wisdom, decided to hold this film back from most critics until the last possible second) and began writing this post on Thursday morning, but life got in the way and I couldn’t finish it all in one sitting — and then, whenever I came back to this post, I found that I had more things to say, or different ways of saying what I had already said, and so on, and so on. But here we are now, on Monday, and the film has finished its first weekend in North America (where it slightly underperformed at the box office), and I am finally going to force myself to finish this thing.

So. Here’s the thing about the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies: He throws so many things at you, so quickly, that you cannot help but miss some details that are actually fairly important, at least on first viewing.

For example, it wasn’t until the second time that I saw his 2009 “reboot” of Star Trek that I realized virtually all of Kirk’s fellow Starfleet cadets had been killed by Nero, except for the ones who were on Kirk’s ship. As you may recall, Starfleet gets a distress call from Vulcan while Kirk is in the middle of being reprimanded by Starfleet authorities — and the disciplinary hearing is put on hold so that all of the recent graduates can board their ships and fly to Vulcan. When all of the ships go to warp speed, the Enterprise accidentally stays behind, because of an error on Sulu’s part — and when the Enterprise finally gets to Vulcan, it finds nothing but a debris field orbiting the planet. Which, when you think about it, means that everyone on all those other ships — including the green alien roommate of Uhura’s that Kirk slept with — is dead, dead, dead. But by that point, the film has forgotten them and moved on to other things; and then, at the film’s conclusion, everyone at Starfleet Academy cheers when Kirk is promoted to captain. Do they make at least a token nod to the fact that they just lost dozens, if not hundreds, of their classmates? Nope.

So, take anything I say in this post with a grain of salt. I have only seen the new film once, and I may have missed all sorts of stuff that won’t register until a second viewing. (One e-pal has already informed me that the movie refers to an incident from the comic-book prequel Countdown to Darkness, but I completely missed that reference as I was watching the film. And I’ve actually read that comic!)

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