Remember when movies like The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur could be made without backlash against a devout religious, or Christian, belief structure? I don't, because both of those films were made decades before I was born, and they were both box-office and critical successes.
This year, we were subjected to a very polarizing (critically) film about Noah, appropriately titled Noah, and directed by an atheistic Darren Aronofsky. In the upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings, we are getting a re-telling of the same relative story as Cecile B. Demille's Ten Commandments, but directed by a non-religious Ridley Scott.
I don't want to take any bandstands here, but is it not OK with Hollywood producers to allow actual men of faith to direct what are seemingly predominant faith-based tales? Do we have to get yet another "realistic" retelling of stories that were published mainly in the Bible, without using the other aspects of the source materia.....oh. Damn. I get it.
Hollywood is "adapting" the Bible, and allowing interpretations as many religions have done so over generations. We are in a very skeptical world, and people aren't going to pay money for a movie that involves God and tells a story revolving around events in the Bible. NOBODY wants to pay for that! *Cough cough Passion of the Christ *cough cough*
Now look, I base all of this information on absolutely nothing. I am probably completely full of crap in regards to Noah (a film I have yet to see, but am basing my findings on what nearly every critic and friend who saw it has said), and Ridley Scott's upcoming Exodus may be pretty awesome, but look at these posters and tell me that they don't have a distinct, action film orientation. Tell me that the angle here isn't along the lines of Scott's other historical film Kingdom of Heaven.
While I enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven, the tale of Moses and Rhamses had better not come across as just another historical action film with battle scenes. I would like to see actual events unfold as we learned in Sunday school, and not turn Moses into a non-believer or some stupid shit like that. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen with Exodus, but I would be fairly surprised and very happy if they are true and faithful to the material.
Just remember that Cecile B. Demille was Episcopalian and faithful to the source material in Ten Commandments. William Wyler was raised Jewish and still showed the power of Jesus in Ben-Hur. All I'm saying is, in this skeptical world, I would like to see at least one more religious-based Bible story that isn't told as a rip-off of Lord of the Rings from a director who is actually a believer. And why pluralize the word "God"? Rhamses was the king in focus, so why not call the film Exodus: God and King, or just freakin' Exodus for that matter, and completely disregard the subtitles? Maybe they are focusing on the pagan gods as well? Who knows what is going through the mind of Hollywood executives and writers these days.
On that note, I will probably see Exodus opening weekend. Ridley Scott's films are pretty badass, and I have HOPES that this film will be very good, regardless of the beliefs of its film makers.