Epic Tale of Moses Script in Development

Here is an interesting story coming from Variety today (thanks to Coming Soon for the heads up): apparently Adam Cooper (Trump Heist) and Bill Collage (Accepted) have been "short-strawed" by 20th Century Fox to pen the script for an adaptation of the Biblical story of Moses.

Cooper and Collage recently turned in a script to Universal for the big screen story of Herman Meville's Moby Dick, which is to be directed by Tim Bekmambetov (9, Wanted) and shouldn't be confused with the recent TV movie project Moby Dick by The Tele Munchen Group.

The story for the film will apparently follow Moses from infancy, when he was left in a basket in the reeds, to his leading the Jews out of Egyptian slavery and across the Red Sea. Here's the odd part: the story was pitched to Fox as a 300-esque style movie. I'm not quite sure what that means. Maybe we will see scantily clad Egyptian women, a bare-chested Moses, Jews and Egyptians and a mostly green screen film?  Could be but I hope not. Along with Cooper and Collage, Peter Chemin and Dylan Clark will produce and say the film's story telling style will be more akin to Braveheart.

The last time Hollywood successfully told the story of Moses was in Cecil B. DeMille's epic 1956 film, The Ten Commandments. It's some of the finest work from that time period and included Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Ramses. To this day, the special effects of the parting of the Red Sea remain a highlighted recreated attraction on the MGM Backlot Tours.

Cooper and Collage plan to leave in all the Biblical references a lot of people are familiar with, but will also include some additional story points from the Rabbinical Midrash and various historical documents about  Moses' life. This means the telling of the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea will still be in the movie (most likely in 3-D) and should be a special FX bonanza.

Being a Christian and coming from an extensive religious background, I've always thought that the stories from the Bible were just ripe for the cinematic picking - if only the proper storytellers got hold of them. The Bible has everything a writer could hope for in a story: greed, sex, lust, war, intrigue, a good guy, a bad guy, a good guy turning bad and a bad guy turning good, magic, occult, angels, demons and much more.  There's even a nod to Woody Allen with the story of Lot and his daughters (if you don't know it look it up here and to see what I'm talking about). The story of Armageddon and the end of the world has been told numerous times on film, and is vaguely addressed in the upcoming action film, Legion.

I was talking to an atheist friend of mine this morning about the topic of Bible stories being perfect for movies and even though he doesn't believe in what The Bible preaches, he agrees that the stories are fascinating.  We would both love to see a proper version of the stories of David vs. Goliath or the Battle of Jericho brought to life. Even the story of Noah and the Flood could be a lot better than the upcoming 2012.

My only concern is the penchant Hollywood writers have for "updating" their stories to such a degree that it no longer resembles the original tale. A few years back NBC made TV movie about Noah and the flood and it was horrible. Everything about the story was changed - even to the point that someone survived outside the ark on a makeshift raft??? IMHO, if the writers want to tell the story, then they should tell the original story the way they first read it. If they don't like the ending, then just use the original as inspiration, but please don't sell it like it's a "biblical" story.

Another good story to see brought to life would be Jonah and the whale or maybe we'll see a sequel to the upcoming Moses project where the Jewish people wander the wilderness for forty years. That could be interesting.

Are there any stories from The Bible, Quran, Midrash or other religious texts that you would find interesting to see on the big screen?

Source: Coming Soon, Variety

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