Exodus Posters, Comments Stir Debate

Three new posters from Ridley Scott’s upcoming Biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings” have arrived courtesy of 20th Century Fox and The IMDb. Christian Bale’s Moses and Joel Edgerton’s Rameses take center stage in the one-sheets for the December 12th release.

These hit as a very minor controversy is being chewed over on Christian websites according to THR. Talking with a group of reporters last month in Los Angeles, Bale spoke about his role as Moses and says: “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life.”

That line, along with a comment by Ridley Scott that the famed parting of the Red Sea sequence will apparently be due to an earthquake in the film has caused a bit of a stir.

With the success of productions like “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Bible” mini-series, studios are pursuing the faith-based dollar more and more. It’s a very lucrative market, but also a rather flighty and highly discerning one which has very strict ideas about how things should be portrayed (ie. strict adherence to the original works or don’t even bother).

One film critic says the Bale comment is worrying as it “speculates about what was going on inside Moses’ head”. FaithDrivenConsumer.com founder Chris Stone says he’s disturbed by Bale’s remarks. Stone’s group famously raised a fuss prior to the release of Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” and with Bale’s comments he tells the trade:

“There’s nothing in the biblical history that supports that [Moses’ schizophrenia and barbarism]. It’s an indication that there will be a tremendous disconnect between Bale’s interpretation and the expectations of the market.

It’s accurate to portray Moses as an imperfect hero, so Christians won’t take issue with that. But to be so extreme as to call him one of the most barbaric people in history, that sounds like he’s going out of his way to distance himself from the very people you’d think he wants to appeal to.

It tells me that he’s worried about Hollywood peer approval while looking down on the public, because he certainly doesn’t want to be associated with the religious or the far right.

Like we said with Noah, they’ve got the right to do whatever they want with their movie, but a lot of people just said, ‘That’s not my story,’ and they stayed away. We can see the same thing happening with Exodus.”

While “Noah” may have missed out on potential box-office domestically with a rather soft $101 million North American haul, internationally it fared exceedingly well with $258 million . “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is expected to do blockbuster business overseas, will it be a hit domestically as well?