There's been some minor controversy over the casting of Ridley Scott's upcoming Biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and its use of Caucasian actors to play the key roles of the Egyptian royal family.
Now Scott himself has finally discussed the issue in a chat with Yahoo, saying the choices he made for the roles were very carefully done. Even so, it's a dismissive answer:
"Egypt was, as it is now, a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture."
He was also asked about how religious communities will receive the film, to which he said:
"I try to be as respectful and honest as possible, because my job is to put myself in the position of that man, as near as I can do it, and tell his story. I do that in partnership with an actor - in this case a wonderful actor, Christian Bale - and we want to honour the story and the man. I spent a lot of time casting this film and we cast it very carefully. And as I said, I think our actors have done a wonderful job."
Scott revealed the film boasts 1300 effects shots, but they tried to do as much practically as possible:
"We build sets and go on location because I want the reality of a fully envisioned environment. That's good for me, shooting it, and for the actors who are performing in that environment... And if you get the right artists - and we have them - then you completely pre-vis (pre-visualise) your sets before you start.
All of Egypt was completely pre-vised in a form that looks like a photograph; they are all digital prints and it's incredible so I can work out if some of the buildings are too tall or if I want more density and in a matter of days it can be done and then you build off of that. You cost it and you build it and it saves so much money.
Finally, some new photos from the film are out below: