Steven Spielberg To Direct Moses Epic, ‘Gods and Kings’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:50 am,

After going three years without a new directorial effort, 65 year-old blockbuster maestro Steven Spielberg has suddenly become as busy (if not more so) than he was before. He just recently wrapped up production on this year’s already-buzzed-about historical biopic, Lincoln, will begin shooting the sci-fi thriller Robopocalypse before the end of 2012 – and is on the verge of officially signing on to helm a new grand-scale Biblical epic, titled Gods and Kings.

Word about Warner Bros. wanting Spielberg to helm the studio’s expensive Moses retelling leaked out back in September 2011, but the director has been so busy executive producing seemingly every other new or upcoming TV show (Terra Nova, Smash, The River, etc.) AND actually directing films, that the studio has only now managed to get him to commit.

Similar to previous cinematic versions of the Moses story – including Cecil B. Demille’s 1923 silent version and his famous 1956 remake of The Ten CommandmentsGods and Kings dramatizes the life of the iconic Jewish prophet, beginning with him as a infant being rescued from the Nile, and moving on through to his revelation of the ten basic ethical principles decreed by God.

However, according to Deadline, Gods and Kings is a far cry from Demille’s The Ten Commandments, with regards to tone. The project is instead being fashioned as “a ‘Braveheart’-ish version of the Moses Story” that will be visually realized in the unvarnished style of Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. In other words, this is yet another Hollywood flick being trumped up as ‘dark and gritty,’ by design.

If all goes according to plan, Spielberg will be mostly done with post-production work on Robopocalypse by the time he begins principal photography on Gods and Kings during the early portion of Spring 2013.

gods kings steve spielberg Steven Spielberg To Direct Moses Epic, Gods and Kings

Steven Spielberg will take on the Moses story with ‘Gods and Kings’

Dan Lin (the Sherlock Holmes movies) is also onboard to produce Gods and Kings. The flick is being scripted by BAFTA nominee Stuart Hazeldine (who is also a co-writer on the upcoming Paradise Lost adaptation) and Michael Green, a onetime co-showrunner for Everwood and Heroes, who owns screen story credit on Green Lantern.

That screenwriting duo reads as being somewhat mixed, but everyone involved in the creative process on Gods and Kings is well-versed in the art of massive blockbuster entertainment – and none more so than Spielberg. So, if nothing else, expect this flick to be an grandiose big-screen presentation of Moses’ plight that realizes the story’s iconic moments (such as the parting of the Red Sea) with impressive cinematic panache.

Therein lies the rub of having Spielberg direct Gods and Kings, unfortunately. His three most recent directorial projects (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, and War Horse) were all very sleek and glossy productions, as is also expected to be the case with Lincoln and Robopocalypse. Hence, Spielberg might be a little rusty when it comes to making films in the truly gritty and cinéma vérité style of Saving Private Ryan – which, as mentioned before, is the plan for Gods and Kings.

Minor quibbles like that aside – this IS still Spielberg we’re talking about here. If anyone is truly qualified to oversee a properly epic treatment of the Moses story, it’s (arguably) him. So, take all that as you will.


We will continue to keep you updated on the status of Gods and Kings as the story develops.

Source: Deadline

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  1. This sounds interesting but they should really do an epic bloody King David story. His battle against Goliath. The 200 Phillistines he had to battle in individual combat. His rise to King and conquers. His adultery with Bathsheba. And finally his death with his son Solomon coming to power.

    Epic story to be told their.

    • ***there

      • Also wouldn’t mind a Adam and Eve movie going on down to Kane and Abel.

        • Cain?

          • haha… yea my bad,was thinking about something else with that spelling.

        • Not quite exactly what you looking for but they are doing a Paradise Lost film. About the fall of Lucifer to his transformatiom to Satan and then Adam&Eve’s exit from the Garden of Eden.

          • That sounds interesting,thanks for the info.It might be one of them movies made for that Christian channel TBN.

    • There are MANY, MANY biblical epic stories to be done. And if done right, all would be at or near and “R” rating.

      • Hell Yea (lol) I went to (moreso forced) to Catholic School to play football. I’ve read the bible front to cover twice and there are some violent stories. Especially when Joshua took over from Moses and they started their crusade to rid the inhabitants of their holy land. Lots of blood.

      • A Not-Rated would be likely.

      • @Ink – I agree. The Bible is filled with hundred of stories worth exploring using film as a medium but as a Christian I fear what a pagan Hollywood would do to the story. Just because they make it doesn’t mean I have to watch it though. We’ve all seen what Hollywood can and will do to a book when they make it a movie – some good, some bad, some horrendous.

        Mainstream Hollywood needs to prove to me they can stay close to the source material and not interject their own feeling and observations into the stories before I will be optimistic about their work.

        My two cents.

        Paul Young

        • I agree 100% with your post.

          See that new idiotic Noah movie that is possibly happening.

          And wow, a good Noah movie would take catastrophe movies to the next level.

          • Do you mean Darren Aronofsky’s Noah movie?

            I only ask since, as I understand it, Aronofsky is actually planning a pretty loyal re-telling of the original Biblical story. Hence, it’s supposed to be a pretty adult apocalyptic tale.

            • nice to hear.

            • Hmmm … that’s good to hear. That wasn’t what I had seen when it was first being talked about.

            • I seem to recall Aronofsky stating his Noah
              film was in some ways a metaphor for today
              in that it was about an epic Earth environmental
              catastrophe which present day is on the precipice of.

              Not exactly a vision that breeds any confidence
              and implying the film had political undertones.

        • Amen to that.

    • and now the poor philistines must defend their own motherland against the david-land.

      • @murdok – I’m going to stop you right there. This movie and story isn’t about current day political topics, so please don’t bring it up again.


        Paul Young

    • How come everyone forgets that Richard Gere played King David back in 1985? As I remember it, that movie flopped.

    • agreed.

      3. SOLOMON
      4. KING DAVID.
      4. LIFE OF ST JOHN.

  2. Spielberg hasn’t made anything other than an average film in ten years. He was one of the greatest directors of all time. But given his recent output, it might be time to retire gracefully. No biblical epic, no Robopocalypse because its a dull and tired story, lets have one last great Indiana Jones. And let that be the end of it.

    • Well he has only made 8 films im the last ten years. Munich, Terminal, Catch Me if You Can, Adventures of Tittin were all great films. Minority Report is also arguably great. So no, lef that man continue to work.

      • Now George Lucas on the otherhand should have retired immediately after Empire Strikes Back.

        • Irvin Kirshner directed ESB. Lucas just did the story and production with others.

      • Disliked every movie you named but catch me if you can. Just an opinion tho

      • Disliked every movie you named but catch me if you can. Just an opinion though

  3. “Rambo – Moses”

    “Where’s your Rambo Now?”

    Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!!! – W.Wallace Moses


    • ummm “LIKE”

  4. Anybody see “The Prince of Egypt” with Val Kilmer and Ralph Fiennes? Despite being an animated film, it’s probably one of the most powerful film versions of Moses that I have seen. It has some dark and “gritty” moments, but does not lose sight of the story or its message. As long as they do the story right, this could be an amazing film. If it’s just another excuse to make an unoriginal special-effect-stuffed-load-of-crap, then count me out.

    • I agree, Prince of Egypt was VERY well done.

      • It had a perfect balance of humor and seriousnees. great film.

    • Thanks for the reminder. I missed that film.
      Based upon your comment and together with the
      endorsement of INK and Ignur Rant I will get to see it.

  5. However, according to Deadline, Gods and Monsters is a far cry from Demille’s The Ten Commandments, with regards to tone

    Should be changed to Gods and Kings?

    • Yep, sorry about that – slip of the (writing) tongue. :-P

  6. bravo another movie,that will heated political discussion. i hate religious movies.

    • I haven’t read any heated discussions. So please, let’s not start one.

      • Murdok is the only one who has tried to start a heated discussion.

      • not here ,if the film comes out,in the world. why are you all p…d off are you all from jesus camp, whoooa i´m flippin ,are you all christian fundamentals or what.

        • @murdok – They only person on this thread so far that has had a ticked off attitude is you. If you’re not interested in then don’t read about it or watch it.

          Paul Young

        • Naw. Im more spiratual than religious. Karma is my guide. But I went to a Catholic school and had to read the stories for class and I came to respect fhem. They are interestiing collection of literature thousands of years old.

          • ign rant,sorry man,this paul young makes me angry,i don´t wanted to describe your words so,this guy called young twists everything so that my comments get missunderstood. i haven´t read the koran,but i believe in god/allah(the same),i hate fanatics of both fronts. mr.young don´t do so smart,i´m serious.

            • @murdok – First, fanatics? What are earth are you talking about? Most people here are discussing who they would like to see play certain Biblical characters – usually tongue-in-cheek. You have been the only negative reaction on this thread so far.

              Second, “misunderstood”? Um this is what you said, “and now the poor philistines must defend their own motherland against the david-land” – basically calling for the Israelis to give Israel to the Palestinians…a topic this thread was never intended to discuss.

              Third, you DO realize that I’m the comment moderator for Screen Rant right? Feel free to disagree with me but try calling me out and I can just make your comments disappear. So far I haven’t had to do that so please keep your comments relevant to the discussion to the topic at hand (Spielberg making a Moses Movie).


              Paul Young

            • murdock,

              Stay off this thread – you’re obviously too immature to have an adult conversation about this. Based on your comment history let me tell you that you are on thin ice.


    • It diesnt have to be overtly religous, it can be moreso historical.

  7. I don’t know about this. The DeMille film is still fresh in my mind as the greatest biblical epic of all time; the splitting of the Red Sea is still better than most special effects of today. Spielberg has it in him to make a film worthy of the 1956 version but I’m just not convinced he will. We’ll just have to see.

    But please do not get Sam Worthington to play Moses. If they do that, it will fail. I know his name has been floating around a lot but I think Fassbender would be a great choice with Liam Neeson playing the elder Rameses the first.

    • Fassbender would be great.

      • Tom Hiddleston to play Rameses and Chris Hemsworth to play Joshua. Robert Downey Jr. to play Jethroh. It’ll never happen but a guy can dream. :-D

    • Stallone should play adult Moses, “pharoah’s the disease, God’s the cure!”

      Or perhaps Mel Gibson?

      Another cool choice would be Hugh Jackman.

    • Depends on where Fassbender’s head is at,and his beliefs.Also a role like that take’s alot of time and preparation & some acter’s may not be up for that challenge but i agree Fassbender would be a good choice.

      • I didn’t think about that but you’re right. Heston did such a great job because of his beliefs. If an actor can’t get into the character because of his/her beliefs, then that role may not be for them.

  8. Moses,and possible Mel Gibson doing movie on Hanukkah, whats next movie on Samson, Hezekiah, or a movie of Jesus as a kid growing up to give people a insight how Jesus might of grown up in Israel.

    • Actually, I would like to see another Samson film, this time with an actor with definition. It would have to also be violent.

      • @ Kahless.You mean you didn’t like what’s his face and Elizabeth Hurley.Tell me that’s not true.haha

        • OK, you got me, I’m totally lost on that one. I was referring to the Victor Mature version; tell me there was not a version with Eliza Hurley? Please, tell me there was not a version with Hurley?!

          • LOL..yes it’s true my friend.It came out in the 90′s,i actually enjoyed it but if i were to see it now i probably would find it hysterical.

    • Is that a hint of paprika or sarcasm b/c all those ideas would make great movies. Minus the kid Jesus thing.

    • a movie on Jesus would be cool if they used the Gnostic gospels as source. That would be a very James Dean like Jesus.

      • James Dean like Jesus? Uh, that’s a NO for me.

  9. it´s blasphemic to show the prophets in rel-movies,we don´t show our prophets mohammed and ali,or their faces get blend away in that one classic with anthony quinn ,for example. and one thing,i and most of the moslems praise jesus,noah and holy moses,because they´re all from the prophetsline,and everything of them stands in the coran,we love and respect them like our prophets. and if i see jesus in south park,or in comics,i only think how respectless and blasphemic that is,and that´s why i´m against movies over holy prophetes,because it´s a failure,it´s wrong to make them to hollywood heroes.

    • @murdok – i let this comment thru because no matter how much I disagree with you it doesnt break any of our rules. However, I’ve removed your last three which attacked me and will now moderate all of your comments before they get posted. I did ask you nicely to refrain a couple times before this.


      Paul Young

    • murdok, seriously dude, we have at least one atheist on this thread who has been nothing but respectful. This is about a movie, pure and simple. None of this is about making a documentary or staying exactly true to the source material. I don’t know if you saw The Ten Commandments but I can tell you that it was not exactly faithful to the Bible but was/is a gem of movie-making and stayed true to the SPIRIT of the first Passover. Please, there’s no need to get into religious politics.

  10. I’m really at a loss to understand how he will turn the Moses story into “dark and gritty” and at the same time make it hyper realistic like Saving Private Ryan with the soul of Braveheart.

    The Ten Commandments is both an epic and compelling movie from start to finish, even by today’s standards, so I really don’t think it can be topped. Sure the FX might be more realistic and flashy but we should all know that FX does not a movie make (Star Wars 1-3 anyone?)

    Next thing you know someone will be trying to remake Ben Hur!

    • Next thing you know someone will be trying to remake Ben Hur!

      Shhhhh!! Don’t give them ideas! :-D

      The story of Moses and the first Passover is very violent. The epic 1956 movie wasn’t nearly as violent as most movies today but I can see how Spielberg can use the story with more violent visuals; of course, showing the killing of infants would more than likely be to controversial but whipping slaves, killing people with swords, and showing the effects of the plagues with today’s effects would probably put it in the R-rated category.

      • The thing is though, FX should be used to help drive the story. So if they are just there because they can be……well that’s not a good enough reason (imho). The thing that made the Ten Commandments so good is they managed to tell the story without being so over the top graphic.

        As an example…..In Saving Private Ryan, the first 20 mins were VERY graphic (very). I consider myself pretty hardened and jaded to excessive violence but even I was at my limit. I think however that it was necessary to get an accurate picture of the horrors of war and exactly what the characters were going through. But do we really need to see that type of excessive graphic violence in Gods and Kings to understand anything significant?

        • I thought the same thing when Passion of the Christ came out, but that movie truly captivated the pain that Christ went through. Do we need that type of graphic depictions for this film? Probably not, but this is Hollywood we’re talking about. If they are going to make this, I want it to be on an epic scale and you don’t need graphic violence for that but if Spielberg wanted to show the horror of the captivity of Israel, he just might.

  11. Jeez. Enough already. He needs to retire. His films are painful to watch now. Oh by the way, thanks for Indy 4.

  12. He’ll have aliens part the sea for Moses. It’s Spielberg. There’s gotta be aliens.

  13. Man, DeMille’s film was produced in 1956 and it still captures you! I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it and I am eagerly awaiting Easter season to watch it again(our family tradition)

    Jurassic Park still captivates also – almost 20 years after its release and it’s still the standard by which I compare most special effects.

    If Mr Spielberg can tap into whatever motivated him to create that masterpiece, then this movie has a chance.

    I want Gods and Kings to big, huge! I’m not speaking budget or box office, though I’m sure they will be. I’m talking about scope. This film, really needs to be larger than life. When I’m at the theater and see Moses on screen, I don’t want to picture Charleton Heston, when I see Ramses, I don’t want to think about Yul Brynner’s gorgeous legs, or Anne Baxter, or John Derek or even the old lady who played Yochabel.

    I want to be enthralled in the moment by what’s in front of me and that will be nearly impossible to pull off. But I don’t think I’d want anyone but Spielberg to try!! We’ll see.

    • But that’s just it; most, if not all, will compare it to the 1956 classic. They have some very large shoes to fill.

      • Luckily for Mr Spielberg, time is not an enemy. He’s not trying to capitalize on the momentum of a newly-released blockbuster. He can take his time and get it right.

  14. Spielberg doing an epic take on Moses and the Ten Commandments – without doubt an event to see for sure.

    Just can’t believe any negative comments on Spielberg. He is without doubt – the greatest director in cinema (and yes that includes Nolan of which any comparison to Spielberg is an insult, but that’s another debate)

    Spielberg is still the most competent in merging together story and spectacle on a great scale. He’s the perfect man for a project such as this. For me, Munich was his last great film – I’ve haven’t yet seen War Horse and have just about forgiven him for the disappointment that was Indy IV.

    I just wish he was directing Man of Steel or had directed Superman Returns. A Spielberg Superman film would be possibly the greatest comic book movie ever.

    • That’s something to think about! I wonder why he hasn’t ventured into comic books?

  15. hmmm

  16. I’m very interested to see how this would turn out. I enjoyed Prince of Egypt, and of course the Ten Commandments.

    I would like to see a movie version of the Judges, of which Samson is the last. They were all bad@$$es, and it would be interesting to see the exploits of each one.

  17. Oh My God is Spielberg he really committing to this, Oh My God this would be mind blowing. I would love to see this one made along whit many its a long time coming but I would just love to be able to see this one. Maybe after he does this one what about retelling Of Jesus by Spielberg too after the controversial gibson one, I think a jesus film would be in great hands with Spielberg too.

    jesus rocks He really does,, and after the Passion of the Christ we really need another retelling, I think folk need to see that a film about Jesus that is up to date with a softer loving tone. I think folk are hungry for something deeper through film, no matter what the film is there is something that captures us and when film like moses or Jesus comes out on the big screen sometimes we get it and it hits home.

    You know what would make a great religious flick the life of Saint Augustine, oh My God Augustine has the whole lot. I once heard someone call him the first rock and roller in the catholic church he lived half of his life in the words of the rollings stones song ” I cant get no satisfaction”,, im telling you his story is brilliant, everything is in there, he done everything i man could possibly do in order to be content. He had a mistress, and he was very wild! and he became a saint who found an order that is still here today called the Augustinians.

    So a film on this guy would be just the ticket if they ever do it,, Saint Augustine was very real towards life and religion. The day they make a film about him it will be great too and I think of actors who could do him, people like Colin Farrel, Brad Pit, Russle Crowe, James Cavisal,, I could go on , It would make a great flick,, so I hope and wish Steven all the best on this adventure with the moses film and i think of the last time he made a film with some connection to moses and the jewish people ie=The Raiders of the Lost Ark,, and Shindillers list..
    so I think when he does anything that has a Jewish connection always seems to do very well so its a good project for him.

  18. The one thing Spielberg has to be careful about is casting. Having white people playing Israelites and Egyptians is somewhat extreme and also totally inaccurate.

  19. As great of a story as the tale of Moses is, it feels to been there done that for my taste. I mean we already have THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT (as well as some others), but those two in particular being great takes on the story. I just don’t think we need another one anytime soon. Hollywood needs to learn that there are other Biblical stories that would make great films besides those of Jesus and Moses.

  20. I personally liked all of Spielberg’s films with the exception of Indiana Jones 4, I thought that movie was weird with that storyline, and also The Adventures of Tin Tin because the storyline didnt make sense to me, but that is my opinion. Im really looking forward to his Lincoln biopic and if does do this movie Im interested