Are You Excited for Exodus: Gods and Kings?

Are You Excited for Exodus: Gods and Kings? October 6, 2014

It’s probably a bit of a stretch to call 2014 the Year of the Christian Movie. Statistically, at least, it’s yet another Year of the Superhero. Four superhero flicks glut the year’s list of top 10 grossing movies, including No. 1 (Guardians of the Galaxy, $323.4 million) and No. 2 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, $259.8 million). You don’t find an explicitly religious flick until Noah at No. 21, and lots of Christians hated that one. Heaven is For Real is the first real “Christian” movie you find—and it’s No. 24 with $91.4 million.

But a religious film could sneak into the top 10 come December, with Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. It looks like it has all the ingredients: chariots, locusts, Batman and … well, take a look.



If there’s a biblical story that lends itself to fully Hollywood blockbuster treatment, it’s the story of Moses. Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments was the special-effects smash of 1956, and this latest retelling looks like it could be, in every sense of the word, epic. And Scott, who directed such pictures as Alien, Gladiator and Prometheus, says that in some ways, this is the biggest movie he’s ever done. And the trailer doesn’t even show just how big this movie might be. “I’ve held back a bit,” he told “Wait ‘til you see the movie. You must never oversell yourself.”

And then there’s the star wattage: Christian Bale as Moses. Joel Edgerton (a criminally underrated actor, in my opinion) as Ramses. Ben Kingsley. Sigourney Weaver looking ever so Egyptian. Oh, and while I don’t think you see him in the trailer, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul plays Joshua.

How could this movie not be a hit?

Well, according to a newly released study conducted by the Christian News Service/NICAEA, Scott could have a bomb on his hands if he doesn’t stick to the script: The original script, that is.

exodusAccording to the study, 74 percent of all American adults would be likely to see Exodus if it stays true to the Bible. That figure goes up to 80 percent if you narrow the study down to Christians, and 84 percent for people whose religion is very important to them.

But if Exodus doesn’t stay true to, well, Exodus, 68 percent of Americans overall would stay away from the movie. Furthermore, seven out of every 10 Christians would take a pass on a biblically inaccurate Exodus.

The group Faith Driven Consumers believes that, when marketing a movie to Christians, success is a byproduct of fidelity. Stay true to the source, and the audience will follow. “When Hollywood’s content resonates, Faith Driven Consumers go out of their way to spend their hard-earned dollars and time to show support,” says FDC’s founder Chris Stone. “When products don’t resonate—as we saw earlier this year with the storm over NOAH—they stay home.”

Which is sorta true. And yet, as we’ve already seen, Noah is technically a bigger hit than the other Christian films that hit the market this year (albeit with a far bigger budget, as well). And honestly, some of the year’s best Christian movies, like When the Game Stands Tall or The Song, didn’t really find an audience. Let’s also keep in mind that The Ten Commandments, as reverent as it was and as beloved by many in the faith community, took its own liberties with the story. So obviously, the formula—if there is one—is more complicated.

Me, I’m jazzed to see Exodus: Gods and Kings—just to see those locusts swoop around, if nothing else. Are other Christians as excited? I guess we’ll see.


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