The battle of Moses retellings has begun, taking after last year’s dual Snow White re-imaginings, this year’s White House invasion thrillers (Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down), and next year’s different takes on the Hercules legend. We learned earlier today that Warner Bros. is looking to hire director Ang Lee for Gods and Kings (now that Steven Spielberg has passed on the Biblical epic), just as 20th Century Fox begins making its own plans to fast-track Exodus.
Ridley Scott revealed the latter Moses project is among the numerous prospects he’s given consideration to directing, around the time Prometheus was starting its theatrical run. It sounded like a secondary concern for Scott back then, but that new report on WB eying Lee to helm Gods and Kings suggests that Scott’s “looking to mobilize” production on Exodus before the year is over.
Deadline is reporting that Fox and Scott are courting Christian Bale to play Moses in Exodus, but emphasize that a deal is not guaranteed. The Oscar-winner is on-and-off rumored to return as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Justice League somewhere down the line, but so far he’s stuck to working on indie and auteur projects since his appearance in The Dark Knight Rises. That includes the reunion with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell on his next movie costarring Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, which begins shooting very soon.
However, Bale working alongside Scott on Exodus – which the filmmaker previously indicated will examine aspects of Moses’ life that were left mostly unexplored in previous movies (a la The Ten Commandments, Prince of Egypt) – is something I could easily see happening. This isn’t the first contemporary Biblical retelling Bale has been courted for, either, as he was reported to be circling the lead in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah last year (before his 3:10 to Yuma costar Russell Crowe signed on instead). We’ll have to wait and see if he commits to Exodus, though.
Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian (who wrote American Gangster for Scott) did a rewrite on the initial Exodus script draft, which was penned by writing duo Bill Collage and Adam Cooper (the pair received story credit on Tower Heist). No surprise, it’s the Zaillian draft that has convinced Fox executives and Scott to prioritize this Moses retelling and not let WB pull ahead with development on Gods and Kings. Indeed, the quality of the retooled Exodus script will likewise affect dramatic heavyweight Bale’s decision to either join or pass on the project.
We will keep you up-to-date on Exodus as more information is released.