With The History Channel’s mini-series about the bible gaining headlines and pulling in big ratings over the past couple of weeks, the time seems right for Hollywood to be readying a new volley of biblical epics to put into theaters. And, sure enough, Deadline is reporting that there’s new movement on the two movies about Moses that Fox and Warner Bros. have been trying to put together for a while.
First off comes the news that the Warner Bros epic, Gods and Kings, which has been described as being a large-in-scale retelling of Moses’ entire life, is no longer being looked at as a project that’s going to be directed by Steven Spielberg. Seeing as there’s another Moses project gearing up over at Fox, this has left the studio in something of a panic, so they’re looking at another director who’s recently seen success from making a highly visual and religious-themed film, Ang Lee, to take his place. The Life of Pi director reportedly hasn’t had any official meetings regarding the film, but appears to be interested.
And what of that other Moses movie that Fox is doing? It’s called Exodus, and it’s something they’ve been putting together alongside Prometheus director Ridley Scott for a while. Ironically, the pressures stemming from this one already being in the works that have led to Warner Bros. giving the hard-sell of their movie to Ang Lee might now be leading to Exodus getting put on the fast track as well.
Fox doesn’t want to get beaten to the Moses punch, so they’re reportedly trying their best to court Christian Bale to attach himself as the star. Theoretically, with a big director like Scott and a big actor like Bale in place, things on Exodus would start coming together fairly quickly, and then any potential pairing of Lee and Gods and Kings would have some catching up to do. Whether or not Bale would be available for something like this is still up in the air though, seeing as he’s a very busy man.
The real question here seems to be how excited to see a Moses movie audiences would actually be. Idly watching Bible stories on The History Channel from your couch is one thing, and going out to a theater and paying money to watch them is another. Might these two studios be pressuring each other into putting together big budget projects that aren’t necessarily guaranteed to see returns on their investments? And if both of these movies happen to start production and get put out around the same time, which of them would you be more interested in seeing?