Will ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Anger Christians? Bale Calls Moses “Schizophrenic” & “Barbaric”


Exodus: Gods and Kings
Photo: 20th Century Fox

It seems Ridley Scott is going the opposite direction Darren Aronofsky went with Noah when it comes to interpreting the more magical and mystical events to be told in his upcoming Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings. Aronofsky made use of rock monsters to explain how one family could construct an ark that would carry two of all the world’s species of animals, but when it comes to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus, Scott turned to science rather than magic.

“You can’t just do a a giant parting, with walls of water trembling while people ride between them,” Scott told Entertainment Weekly, saying he wasn’t convinced when he saw Charlton Heston do it in Cecil B. DeMille‘s The Ten Commandments (1956). “I didn’t believe it then, when I was just a kid sitting in the third row. I remember that feeling, and thought that I’d better come up with a more scientific or natural explanation.”

So what’s the solution?

Scott’s solution came from a deep dive into the history of Egypt circa 3000 B.C. After reading that a massive underwater earthquake off the coast of Italy caused a tsunami, he thought about how water recedes as a prelude to such disasters. “I thought that logically, [the parting] should be a drainage. And that when [the water] returns, it comes back withe a vengeance.” Here’s a 5,000-year-old spoiler alert: That’s what happens when Moses (Christian Bale) leads the no-longer-enslaved Hebrews out of Egypt, with leader Ramses (Joel Edgerton) in close pursuit.

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Joel Edgerton as Ramses in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Scott also looked for logic and reason when it came to the 10 plagues, those being:

  1. Water turned to blood
  2. The plague of frogs
  3. The plague of gnats/lice
  4. The plague of flies
  5. The plague against livestock
  6. The plague of boils
  7. The plague of hail (as seen in the picture above)
  8. The plague of locusts
  9. The plague of darkness
  10. The death of the firstborn

Scott says, “It’s always interesting to address all the facts. Out of the facts comes the logic, and out of the logic comes reality.”

Exodus: Gods and Kings hits theaters on December 12 and it’s already up for debate whether Christians will embrace the film or shun it. Certainly if it doesn’t stick to the text of the Bible it might be an issue for some, which is already proving true, and then there’s a quote from Christian Bale that’s been making the rounds.

“I think the man was likely schizophrenic,” Bale said about Moses. “[He] was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life.”

Chris Stone of the organization Faith Driven Consumer sent his millions of followers the result of a recent poll indicating 74 percent of Americans were likely to see the film if it was biblically accurate but that 68 percent were unlikely to see it if it was inaccurate. “It’s our sincerest hope that this movie resonates with our community, so we sent them the results of our poll,” Stone told The Hollywood Reporter. “Their response was, ‘we don’t need to have any further conversation.'”

Stone made a fuss surrounding Noah just as he is around Exodus, but despite that fuss Noah went on to make $352 million worldwide on a $125 million budget. There’s no word on the budget for Exodus just yet, but Scott hasn’t been shy when it comes to discussing the size of the production:

“Well, in terms of the metaphorical aspects, yes [this is the biggest project I’ve done]. Even budgetarily it’s probably the biggest, yeah. But I didn’t approach it as my biggest. I never do that. I always approach it from the point of view of the characters, of the story. I never realised Gladiator was going to be quite as large in terms of its scope and yet it was a very small, personal story. A revenge. A simple revenge into which we had jigsawed some characters.”

Based on what I could find, Robin Hood at $200 million is Scott’s most expensive production to date with the likes of Kingdom of Heaven and Prometheus budgeted at $130 million for the sake of comparison. The film reportedly has 1,300 effects shots though Scott adds, “You wouldn’t call it an effects film even though in many ways a lot of what was needed is extraordinary. There were things I couldn’t build. But in today’s world the effects are so good that it looks real, effectively.”

Just below are a couple of new TV spots and a trio of posters.




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Weekend: Dec. 12, 2019, Dec. 15, 2019

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