Steven Spielberg Drops Moses Epic, ‘Gods and Kings'; Ang Lee Eyed to Direct

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 3:03 pm,

steven spielberg american sniper Steven Spielberg Drops Moses Epic, Gods and Kings; Ang Lee Eyed to Direct

Over a year has passed since we heard that Steven Spielberg was committing to direct Gods and Kings, which is described as a Braveheart-esque recounting of the Moses story (with a stripped-down form that emulates Saving Private Ryan). Today’s update reveals that the three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker has decided to pass and focus on developing stuff like Robopocalypse (in addition to turning the late Stanley Kubrick’s long-abandoned Napoleon biopic script into a TV mini-series).

Studio executives already have another high-caliber name in mind to direct Gods and Kings: Ang Lee, who’s fresh off winning his second Oscar for Life of Pi (read our interview with Lee about the 3D adaptation). However, there are some obstacles threatening to not only prevent Lee from boarding Gods and Kings, but which could also cause the Biblical epic to either collapse or remain stuck in the early stages of development.

Deadline is reporting that Lee’s “intrigued with the project,” but hasn’t formally met with WB heads about him directing Gods and Kings. The filmmaker has made it no secret that he prefers challenging himself by not repeating his previous work, so that accounts for him showing interest in the big-budget Moses retelling (not to mention, him circling the Cleopatra biopic earlier this year).

Lee is gearing up to direct the pilot for a new FX TV series called Tyrant (from the producers of Homeland), but it’s not clear whether or not that’s going to have an effect on him committing to either Gods and Kings or the new screen interpretation of Ancient Egypt’s last pharaoh in Cleopatra (with Angelina Jolie remaining lined up to star).

ang lee cleopatra angelina jolie Steven Spielberg Drops Moses Epic, Gods and Kings; Ang Lee Eyed to Direct

WIll Ang Lee direct ‘Gods and Kings’?

The other looming storm on the horizon (as far as Gods and Kings is concerned) is Exodus, a Moses project that Ridley Scott off-handedly announced (or, rather, mentioned) around the time that Prometheus reached theaters last year. It was just two weeks ago that Noomi Rapace confirmed Scott is actively developing a Prometheus sequel, but Deadline is now saying that the filmmaker is “looking to mobilize” on Exodus once he completes post-production on The Counselor.

It’s possible these two Moses projects may peacefully co-exist, seeing how Exodus sounds like a different, perhaps even complimentary, take on the life of Moses than Gods and Kings (judging by Scott’s previous comments):

“… What’s interesting to me about Moses isn’t the big stuff that everybody knows. It’s things like his relationship with Ramses [II, the pharaoh]. I honestly wasn’t paying attention in school when I was told the story of Moses. Some of the details of his life are extraordinary.”

Personally, I’m rooting for Lee to direct Gods and Kings, rather than Scott moving ahead with Exodus. That’s in part because I’m a self-admitted fan of Lee’s oeuvre and his chameleon storytelling abilities, but also because we’ve already seen Scott perform the ancient world epic dance a couple times before (see: Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven). It would be more interesting to see him further explore the Prometheus side of the Alien-verse, so hopefully he prioritizes that project instead.

Which of these Moses flicks sounds more interesting to you: Ang Lee’s Gods and Kings or Ridley Scott’s Exodus? Would you prefer that Hollywood take on another Biblical figure’s life story altogether? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Deadline

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. +1 for Ang Lee directing Gods and Kings.

  2. Why ????
    The Cecil b. demille one was one of the greatest and most entertaining movie I’ve ever seen

    • The Ten Commandments movie heavily dramatized the use of Exodus’ story though, and not mention it was bombastic, preachy, and goofy at times. Most of the palace intrigue in the first quarter and a half didn’t actually happen, and it felt more like a soap opera than a biblical epic (though I still like The Ten Commandments movie dearly). Even The Prince of Egypt was more accurate to its source material. I’d like to see them follow Exodus more closely, and with Ang Lee at helm it could definitely be the true serious epic that Moses’ story was.

      • Back then, that’s what movies were supposed to be
        But today, the movie will be full of cgi and too realistic to be entertaining

        • The parting of the Red Sea won’t be memorable

        • I don’t think being too realistic makes anything less entertaining, it actually makes a film more compelling IMO. I’d obviously like some dramatic elements, I just don’t want it to be a melodrama like Titanic or something along those line.

          The Part of the Red Sea, though was TECHNICALLY groundbreaking in the 1950s, lacked the endearing power of The Prince of Egypt’s Red Sea scene. The Prince of Egypt’s particular scene was an emotionally powerful compromising of Moses’ ability to lead and save his people after the doubts, strife, and tragic betrayal of his beloved family he had to suffer through to get to there, and it was just a wonderful experience including a powerful score from Hans Zimmer himself. Not to mention the animation was breathtaking.

          I’m hoping Lee or Scott’s remake is just as powerful as that.

  3. Scott! He is proven to be genius withthese types of epic stories *cough*Gladiator*cough*. Just imagine what he could do with a Moses movie!

  4. Yeah, if I had to pick just one (because let’s face if both are made I’ll see both) it would be Gods and Kings especially if Lee directs.
    IMO after Scott finishes The Counselor he should focus his efforts on the Prometheus sequel.

  5. I never thought I’ll say this, but back off Ridley Scott!!! Scott hasn’t made a good movie since Matchstick men IMO. I wasn’t a fan if American Gangster. Movie should have been way better than what it was.

    Ridley Scott is about to pull a Oliver Stone right now (He rushed to make his crap Alexander film when Mel Gibson and Leo DiCaprio where planning on making one). I’m going to be disappointed if Scott makes one and tanks then it will discourage WB from producing. It isn’t ever day a studio backs huge funds for such a great story! Come on Hang Lee get on board now before its to late!!!!