Any time I‘ve turned on the TV recently I am seeing TV spots for Ridley Scott’s upcoming religious epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.
The film stars Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Rhamses which caused controversy almost immediately as neither Moses nor Rhamses were from England. It’s difficult to discuss the movie without touching on this subject as it has plagued it since the cast were initially announced.
This controversy is nothing new, however as Charlton Heston was probably not a great likeness to Moses either; that’s Hollywood though and it seems that very little has changed.
Ridley probably didn’t help matters the other day when he told Variety: “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”
*sharp intake of breath* I can see where he’s coming from but still, I think this will negatively impact the film’s box office.
I am a massive Ridley fan and Gladiator is his masterpiece to me, but aside from the casting controversy my main problem is that Exodus just doesn’t look very good. It’s CG galore and really is just a remake of The Ten Commandments. I’m sure the battle scenes will be spectacular as that is Ridley’s forte but it doesn’t look like anything we haven’t seen before.
Although I like Bale and Edgerton as actors they do genuinely seem miscast and some of the dialogue seems a bit too modern to work in this kind of movie. Early reviews have mentioned that the acting isn’t the greatest and that may put people off.
Also, I’d have just called it Exodus; it really didn’t need the Gods and Kings sub-heading which only makes it harder to remember.
Religious themed movies are always risky and definitely not guaranteed hits at the box office; I think there will already be a built in audience who will want to see a movie like this around Christmas time though so that might help it.
This year’s Russell Crowe movie Noah made a very respectable $362,637,473 at the international box office with a budget of $125 million so that is definitely a good sign.
So will Exodus: Gods & Kings be a hit or a miss? I don’t think it will be a complete failure as Ridley normally can bring in the box office when he does a swords and sandals epic. I reckon it will make around $60-80 million domestically and maybe an extra $200-300 million worldwide.
I’ll say it will be a moderate hit but the fact that it’s coming out the week after The Hobbit will definitely not help it.