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Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' Trailer Is Absolutely Gorgeous

By Cindy Davis | Trailers | July 8, 2014 | Comments ()


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I know, I know…all the white people! You know the drill: This is Hollywood. And yes, the big name actors are out of place. But Ridley Scott knows how to do an epic film, and Exodus looks to be no exception. Joel Edgerton is giving his all as Rhamses, and Sigourney’s Tuya is giving me her Elizabeth Taylor vibe, but I haven’t quite figured out why Bale’s gone full Bat-whisper for Moses. (Speak softly and carry a big stick?)

Still, it’s a gorgeous trailer, and has a bit of that old Gladiator magic.


Here are the posters:

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Exodus: Gods and Kings also stars Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Indira Varma, John Turturro and Hiam Abbass; it’s in theaters December 12th.




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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Ryan Ambrose

    Noah was a fascinating character study that did not shy away from exploring the moral quandaries of faith and devotion under the command of a silent god. It entertained me as much as it made me think by posing complex questions, since I'm agnostic and could never take stuff like this literally.

    I hope this new flood* of Biblical adaptations can follow suit and go for that kind of intellectual exercise more instead of merely utilizing fantastical imagery for the sake creating some CGI-driven spectacle. But I'm sure that for every Noah there will be dozens of "Christian films" such as God Is Not Dead and its ilk.

    *It's impossible not to make a pun when discussing this film, I tried.

  • I'm so much less bothered by the whitewashing here than I am the fact that hardcore literal biblical stories are in vogue right now. What in the everloving fuck is happening?

  • rio

    the hilarious thing is that they realized christians are a huge market but they make movies for them like they make movies for comic book nerds, bastardizing the source material and pissing them off.

  • Maddy

    It is weird. Did Noah even do well? I don't understand it.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    this was in the pipeline before Noah was at the box office. And even if Noah didn't do well in particular...Bible tends to do well.

  • Slim

    The surprise at the popularity of Bible stories, yeah, surprises me. The Bible is still pretty big in, like... the world. Not even just the American Red States. It's huge in South Korea. They sell millions of them a year, more than Harry Potter or the sparkly vamp books.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    And, if one wants to take an even more basic approach - they are exciting stories. All the excitement of Greek myths like Hercules or Clash of the Titans, and add the religious touchstone for about half the world.

    I'm waiting for a new version of Samson & Delilah. Except I'd like it made by Baz Luhrman with Dita Von Teese as Delilah. C'mon, what other big name directors do we want doing the Bible? Scorsese doing John the Baptist and Salome? Christopher Nolan doing Ezekiel? Terry Gilliam doing Revelations?

  • Slim

    Rian Johnson does Job.

  • Maddy

    I used to work at a cinema. I still remember all the church groups taking buses to come see Passion of the Christ. I guess there is a market for it. I'm sure it can be interesting and done well I guess I haven't had much exposure to those films.

  • The smart guy who sits next to me at work just said "It's simple, scale." They can finally (re) make these movies and make them look like scary bible stories for reals. I think he has a point. Plus lots of whackos want to see the stories they believe as truth. And spectacle dorks like me go too (though not to Noah and probably not to this).

  • Maddy

    I couldn't believe people were apparently getting annoyed that Noah was 'inaccurate'. WHAT

  • BWeaves

    So that's the speech impediment?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    The coal burned his windpipe?

  • NateMan

    1. Okay, beautiful trailer anyway. But no way I'm going to pay money to indulge in a couple hours of religious nonsense. If I want to do that I'll watch the Thor movies again. At least those are fun myths.
    2. I can't decide if the people's skin are gray in the posters to draw attention to or away from their Whitey McWhiteness status. If it's the latter they failed.

  • Maddy

    I feel like I need to use 'Whitey McWhiteness' now in everyday life so thanks for that

  • asherlev1

    ...Are you freaking kidding me? I didn't even know this movie was being made. I'm sorry, but the casting matters to me. It matters so much. :(((

  • I understand this sentiment. But I also live in the real world where a $100M action tentpole is not getting made with no-name actors in the lead. I'm surprised that people continue to be surprised about these types of casting decisions. Movies are a business.

  • Keenan

    You mean like 12 years a slave? Who is Lupita Nyong, and why was she cast? Could have used Scarlett Johansen in her place.

  • Maddy

    Did anyone know Sam Worthington's name when he was cast in Avatar? I honestly just don't think this argument holds water. People will go and see an epic Ridley Scott movie regardless of who is cast. Give actors who would otherwise not get the change a go at a bigger profile for once. This honestly isn't unreasonable or difficult. They might think that you have to cast white actors in every lead role, even when they shouldn't be white, for movies to make money but I don't know that that is an accurate reflection of reality.

  • Avatar didn't need a star. The 3D FX was the star. Same with comic book movies. This type of thing needs a star.

  • Maddy

    Do people really turn out in droves to see Christian Bale? Is he really a movie star?

    This seems to be selling itself on its effects to me. Why does it need a 'star'?

  • I mean, there's a debate on whether anyone is truly a movie star anymore (working on something for next week about that very topic so I look forward to your comments), but Bale is as recognizable face as exists in cinema. And for a swords and sandals movie, you need someone like that toplining the picture.

    As for effects being the star: look at Pompeii. Had no stars, tons of effects, and cratered.

  • Maddy

    It's definitely an interesting debate. I think there were probably other reasons Pompeii failed though lol

    I'm not sure there are that many actors that I can think of that I would see in anything? But maybe that's just me and my cynical blackened heart.

    I always feel like white male actors get so many opportunities to fail, whereas if one movie with a female or non-white actor fails movie executives decide that people don't like movies with women in them (when really it probably had more to do with that particular movie or the marketing)

    I definitely get the feeling that having a headlining star doesn't seem to be as important as having a recognisable franchise or name (hence the large number of sequels/ remakes)

    This feeling isn't really based on anything though.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Sam who?

  • Maddy

    No one is surprised. Just annoyed that this continues to happen and it still is apparently OK. I honestly don't think people even see these movies for the actors anymore. And if no one ever takes a chance than it never changes.

  • Maddy

    Yep. Just because Hollywood pulls this BS all the time doesn't mean it's OK.

    I probably wouldn't have seen this anyway to be honest. The special effects look cool but I do not give a shit.

  • sadly, no bird on christian bale's head.

    looks expensive, though, which is pretty much all they're going for here.

  • Maddy

    That awkward moment when they shaved Joel Edgerton's head and gave him painted on eyebrows to make him look more 'ethnic'. WHAT. I cannot take this movie seriously.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I can't watch the trailer to confirm, but my recollection is that is part of preparation for donning Pharaoh's symbolic garb.

  • foolsage

    Shaving the hair on one's head and face was very popular in ancient Egypt from the Dynastic period onwards; most upper-class men did it. In time, it was associated with purity and humanity (as opposed to animals, which are furry) and was required of the priesthood. Eventually, they even plucked their eyebrows and shaved ALL body hair.

    Pharaoh is one level an avatar of both Horus and Osiris (the oldest Pharaohs were known only by their Horus-name, and later ones used the Horus-name along with their other several names depending on circumstance), and later was also considered an avatar of Ra, so there's a strong connection there to the priesthood. Most Pharaohs did proudly rock a false Osiris beard though, inlaid with lapis.

  • Maddy

    Yeah I'm still side eyeing it and this whole movie to be honest.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I liked the shaved head but the guyliner and eyebrows are HORRIBLE. No one can top Yul Brenner in this part, in my humble opinion.

  • BWeaves

    Agreed. Well, maybe Mark Strong.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Yeah, he'd be a very intense Pharaoh.

  • foolsage

    Why is Ridley Scott apparently adding an 'h' to Ramses/Ramesses? There's definitely no 'h' there. There were four forms of 'h' in Middle Egyptian, and they were always spelled clearly. That name has none of them. It wouldn't make any sense with an 'h'.

    The name "Ramesses" means "Son of Ra": "Ra" + "meses" (though the vowels are a bit shady; Egyptologists generally add an "e" when in doubt). "Meses" means "son of" and amusingly, Moses' name is not grammatically correct; Moses is a form of "meses", which is a suffix, always coming after whomever is the metaphorical father. Which is to say, Pharaoh named his adopted son after some god (E.g. Thutmose, Ramesses, Ptahmoses, Dedumose, Amenmesse; they all end with the same suffix but it's Romanized differently) and the Jews later struck the prefix from his name in protest and covered it up. But he wasn't named Moses; that's not a name. And no, it doesn't symbolize him being the son of the ineffable one and only god, either; it's an Egyptian name, and had to follow Egyptian grammar. You can't have a suffix as a name; nobody did.

    Bet none of you knew that. ;)

  • I always wondered that, and just assumed Moses a variant form of Moshe and his real name had just been lost to myth. But I guess maybe that's a variant of Moses, which is a bastardization of an Egyptian name? Are there any good theories about what his full name might have been?

    Thanks for the history lesson, can never have enough of those!

  • foolsage

    The variants came from people copying the altered version of his name. Three thousand and some odd years later, it's now a Hebrew name, and even has new meanings which were invented over time.

    There are no theories that I'm aware of which god was erased there, because, hell, a very small number of people in the world even know this stuff. Whatever the original prefix was, it was not recorded by the Egyptians or the Jews, so it's well and truly lost.

  • I guess it doesn't matter what his real name was, but it'd be neat to know. One day, no one will know the name Bruce Wayne, either. Only Batman.

  • Parsnip

    I did not, thanks for that.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I didn't. You misspelled "Pharaoh", though. ;)

  • foolsage

    D'oh, typo. Corrected.

  • emmalita

    I'll accept the spelling error for the interesting history lesson.

  • Sean

    It took me almost the entire trailer to realize that wasn't some sort of Naked Gun/Airplane type parody.

    I just wonder if a movie like that can actually make back its probably $200+ million budget.

  • Nadiney

    Imma see this a lot.

    I would rather enjoy if ahollywoods new thing became Ancient Egypt. Glorious eyeliner fucking everywhere.m

    Epic and incredible stories as well, obvs.
    But the kohl, you guise?!

  • Benny Gesserit

    They must have bought GALLONS of Maybelline eye-liner, eh?

  • Slim

    The bat-voice maybe because Moses, Biblically, has some kind of speech impediment or problem that has him defer to his brother Aaron to make all God's pronouncements. I'm less bothered by his voice than his fancy haircut. That's some good barbering in ancient Midian.

  • Naye

    Yessss. For some reason the haircut totally blows me.

  • Coolg82

    Well, its Hollywood, and big names are whats gonna bring the crowds, and Omar Sharif is still the pre-eminent Egyptian actor known in the US. Also, if this thing was going to be played strictly ethnically, there are probably more people playing Egyptian Jews in the movie than there are current Egyptian Jews, as the vast majority left the country over the last 50 years and what is left is a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population. I still think, "This guy is a well known/good actor" is a better argument than, "Just get me a brown guy, Egyptians are brown, right?". They could still find good Egyptian actors, but that would cost money and time and would mean little to American viewers. With that said, Christian Bale and Sigourney Weaver are a hell of a stretch. At least Edgerton was given a tan.

  • Maddy

    Also giving a white dude a tan isn't the same as actually casting a person of colour. Like no.

  • Emmet O'Cuana

    John Rhys Davies is the pre-eminent Egyptian actor known in Hollywood.

    That he's Welsh is moot.

  • Zeus McGuinnes

    Well said.

  • Maddy

    Not well said at all. There's no excuse for this stupidity. It's 2014.

  • Zeus McGuinnes

    >Stars sell tickets
    >Not many A-lister Egyptian/Israeli actors
    Its hardly Stupidity casting Bale, the man sells tickets.

    Its not like this is a new concept, with all those war films with British people playing every nationality.

  • Keenan

    So, employing your logic, why wasn't Sandra Bullock cast as Patsey in 12 years a slave. Historical accuracy be damned, we're selling tickets after all.

  • Zeus McGuinnes

    12 years already had Fassbender and Brad Pitt

  • Keenan

    That's irrelevant to my question, which I'll reiterate: if name recognition demands ticket sales, why not cast Patsy as Sandra Bullock, or even Scarlett Johansson? Assuming, as has been argued, that notoriety outweighs the integrity of the story.

  • Zeus McGuinnes

    The difference lies in that people can suspend disbelief on the casting of white people to play 2000 year old + Egyptians given the lack of anthropological evidence on how they really looked. Remember how many films portrayed Jesus as white, despite the fact that he was most likely brown skinned. This is because the ethnicity/appearance of far dated historical figures can be hard to prove. Completely different when dealing with characters such as Patsy. Also Moses and Rhamses are the leads of the film and for a big block buster its often a big gamble to not have big star leads. Look what happened with John Carter.

  • Keenan

    No, I cannot suspend belief to the point of accepting that there were white Europeans roaming the Nile Valley, in Africa, 3500 years ago. It makes no biological, linguistic, cultural, nor geographical sense. Further, we know exactly what the Egyptians looked like, because they told us, migrational patterns support it, genetics(DNA tribes) confirm it. We also know Hebrews aren't white Europeans, and to suggest that the integrity of these depictions is irrelevant in light of the significance they carry for African and Semitic populations is not only insulting, but a perpetuation of the white supremacist ideologies that have plagued America for centuries. The idea that images of darker skinned people as slaves and criminals is digestible, while images of them as Pharaohs and Kings is not, is disgusting.

  • George Tarleton

    And it's this mentality that will result in the cycle of whitewashing roles going on forever. Until film makers stop with this silliness and actually take the time and effort and, yes, risk, to cast lesser-known minorities in ethnic roles, it will never end.

    So spare me the "it sells tickets" nonsense, and spare me the "not many ____ actors" crap. It's a pointless, vapid argument that makes no effort to actually address what really is a genuine problem. Film makers are praised all the time for taking risks, yet for inexplicable reasons, these are risks that desperately few of them ever seem willing to take.

    It needs to happen. Yes, this film looks good, but the whitewashing is unforgivable.

  • Maddy

    Agreed. People need to speak with their wallets to get this to stop unfortunately. But it's become so normalised that people don't bat an eye or see a problem. The thing is - diversity actually helps make entertainment more financially and critically successful in the long run.

  • Maddy

    Believe it or not I am actually aware of that. You could maybe convince me on that with Christian Bale but since when is Joel Edgerton A list? Quite frankly I'm not sure Christian Bale is a box office draw either.

    It's not an excuse. It's kind of hard to have any A list Egyptian or Israeli actors (by Hollywood standards) when they never get cast.

    People cast unknown or barely known white actors in these blockbuster movies all the freaking time and it doesn't affect their bottom line. I understand perfectly well that it's a business where they need to make money but that's not an excuse.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Natalie Portman is an A list Israeli actor. Would you accept her?

  • Maddy

    I'm not sure why the onus is on me to come up with casting for this movie? But I'm going to go with no.

    I don't know why it's necessary to cast a 'known' (to American) actor for these roles

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Well, you have strong opinions on the casting decision of this movie (as in you don't accept them) and I gave you an example of an A list Israeli actor, because it seemed like you thought there were none.

  • Maddy

    I reject the whole idea that 'A list' 'actors even need to be cast in this movie. Just because those actors aren't well known (at least to me) doesn't mean they can't be found? That's the job of a casting director. I don't understand your point.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    "It's not an excuse. It's kind of hard to have any A list Egyptian or
    Israeli actors (by Hollywood standards) when they never get cast."

    They exist and they get cast, though not in this movie.

    I agree with you that whitewashing is a problem. The studio wants to make as much money as possible out of the project, however, so they cast actors who they think will get a lot of people into the theatres. And someone apparently thinks that Edgerton is going to be the next big movie star.

    But sandal movie would not get made if they'd cast people of colour exclusively.

  • Maddy

    I get what you're saying. And I'm not sure I ever said those actors don't exist?

    It just seems kind of ridiculous to me that people of colour don't even get to be in movies that are ABOUT THEM. And then they don't tend to get cast in other films because white is seen as the default and apparently it's impossible to relate to a character that isn't white.

    I understand what you're saying about the industry and the probable reasons behind it. I'm just saying that I really don't think that those kind of 'realist economic' arguments justify it or frankly are even true (not that I'm a Hollywood box office expert or anything)

    And isn't it more about the international box office than just the US these days in terms of making money? (Maybe I'm wrong on that I don't know)

  • Fabius_Maximus

    It is ridiculous, yes. Studio execs still seem to think that way, though.

    The biggest international markets are Europe and China (they love Transformers 4 over there, apparently). Believe me, there are as few people who care about this in Europe as there are in the US. Maybe even less, because on average, you have a lot more "brown" people in the US than in European societies.

    I also don't think that you will find a lot of actors of middle-eastern descent on any list that don't look like your average mediterranean European person.

  • Batman

    I'll stick with Prince of Egypt as my Batman turned Moses movie.

  • stella

    Is this just a live action Price of Egypt? Because that would be awesome as long as they sing.

  • Quality Gibberish

    I have to say, it's nigh on intolerable to have to watch a commercial in order to watch a commercial.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, I gotta turn off trailers that do that. The pop up ads on them are bad enough.

    And Ramses looks like a bald, bedragged Tom Hanks to me.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I can't watch the commercial at all.

  • mzbitca

    The header pic made me think of what it would look like if Littlefinger and Varys got the Hollywood treatment and had their own show

  • Maddy

    I can take or leave Littlefinger but I would totally watch a show about Varys.

  • BWeaves

    Hahaha, exactly what I was thinking.

  • stella

    Well now youve just made me sad that your idea isnt happening.

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