Exodus news round-up: a set visit, a casting controversy, and who exactly is Ben Mendelsohn playing?

2014-08-04 14.06.09The current issue of Empire magazine has a report from the set of Exodus: Gods and Kings, and while it doesn’t have all that much new information, it does include a few new pictures and a few new details.

For one thing, it confirms that the giant face we saw in the first official photo from the film is meant to be an image of Ramses II, the Pharaoh played by Joel Edgerton — and it adds the detail that this monument is part of a massive new city being built by the Hebrews called Pi-Ramses. So it looks like this film will follow the scholarly convention of equating the biblical city “Rameses”, mentioned in Exodus 1, with the historical Pi-Ramesses.

The article also mentions that the film will feature “seven — count ’em! — plagues and natural disasters”. Only seven? There are ten in the Bible, though this needn’t be an inaccuracy on the film’s part. If memory serves, The Ten Commandments (1956) really only showed three — the water turning to blood, the hailstorm and the death of the firstborn — but it alluded to the others in its dialogue. So it’s certainly possible that Exodus might show “only” seven but allow for the other three somehow.

[Read more...]

Moses holds a sword to Ramses’ throat and soldiers hold spears galore in new Exodus: Gods and Kings photos

At least fourteen photos and three posters were released this month during the run-up to the first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings. Now, thanks to a website called Pissed Off Geek, we have at least three more images for our collections.

The most striking, to me, is this shot of Moses holding a sword to Ramses’ throat, which was hinted at in the trailer but is much more explicit in this photo. And look at how much taller Moses is! I can’t think of another movie about the Exodus that made Moses so much more physically imposing, even threatening, than the Pharaoh he confronts. Even Charlton Heston, for all his statuesque poses, was content to proclaim things, point his fingers, and let God and his miracles take care of the rest. (And the Pharaoh opposing him was played by Yul Brynner, who was no slouch in the alpha-male department himself.)

[Read more...]

Will the crocodiles in Exodus: Gods and Kings be another nod to The Prince of Egypt?

It’s already clear from the trailer that Exodus: Gods and Kings will have at least one thing in common with The Prince of Egypt, namely its depiction of Moses and Ramses as good friends before the liberation of the Hebrew slaves tears them apart. Ridley Scott said two things in his recent interview with Empire magazine that got me wondering if his film might borrow another, much smaller element from that film.

[Read more...]

Are Exodus: Gods and Kings — and other Moses movies — picking on Ramses II unfairly?

Donna Dickens has an amusing post up at Hitfix in which she begs Hollywood to “please stop character assassinating Ramses II”.

The Bible, you see, never says precisely who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but most big-screen versions of the story — from The Ten Commandments to The Prince of Egypt to Ridley Scott’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings — have assumed it was Ramses II, one of the most powerful Pharaohs who ever lived.

There are reasons for this, which I’ll get to in a moment, but Dickens proposes an alternative theory. Instead of dating the Exodus to the time of Ramses, who lived in the 13th century BC, she proposes dating it to the time of Thutmose III, an accomplished Pharaoh in his own right who ruled in the 15th century BC.

Why so much earlier? Partly because I Kings 6:1 tells us that Solomon began building the Temple 480 years after the Israelites came out of Egypt, and that he did this during the fourth year of his own reign. So Solomon began his reign 476 years after the Exodus, and if you date the beginning of Solomon’s reign to about 970 BC, as Dickens apparently does, then all you have to do is add 476 years and — voila! — the Exodus took place in 1446 BC, right in the middle of Thutmose’s reign.

I used to subscribe to this theory, or at least a version of it, myself.

[Read more...]

The Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer: a shot-by-shot analysis (lots and lots of horses, and a tip of the hat to Simple Minds)

The first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings is here — and it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Spectacular images (which will no doubt look even better in 3D), an enormous sense of scale, and hints of a brotherly love between Moses and Ramses that turns sour when Moses and his God turn against the Egyptians and their gods to liberate the Hebrew slaves. Oh, and horses. Lots and lots of horses. You can check it all out below the jump.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X