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More than 50 years ago, Charlton Heston and the great Cecil B. DeMille staged Moses’ parting of the Red Sea as the centerpiece of the epic The Ten Commandments. Decades later, and with a bevy of different technical tools at his disposal, Sir Ridley Scott attempts to replicate the Biblical miracle for Exodus: Gods and Kings. But when I sat down across from the men who helped Scott stage this massive endeavor, I wanted to know what they recalled about those days of filming, and how they’ll remember the effort five years from now. I think you’ll enjoy the answers provided by Aaron Paul, Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton.
The thing about the Red Sea sequence is that it competes with several eye-popping visual events in the rest of the movie. Sir Ridley Scott embraces his epic blockbuster side when bringing the size and scope of the story of Moses to the big screen. Rivers run red with blood (thanks, in part, to rampaging alligators). Locusts and frogs invade the kingdom of Rhamses (Joel Edgerton). And in one disturbing sequence, the first-born child of every Egyptian family is murdered in their sleep… all before Rhamses leads an army of Egyptians into the fading waters of the Red Sea to retrieve Moses (Christian Bale) and his people. It’s a massive undertaking, and one that seems to have impressed the men in Scott’s cast.
There’s a follow up to the end of Edgerton’s story, though. He may throw Christian Bale under the bus for messing up with a sword while on horse back. But when I told Bale that Edgerton is sharing this story, he had one of his own to tell. I’ll let you hear it.
Exodus: Gods and Kings shares the Old Testament story of the journey of Moses – a one-time Egyptian leader who has to turn against the only family he’s ever known when he begins to hear the summoning voice of God. It’s a large-scale epic painted on a bigger-than-usual canvas. In addition to Bale, Edgerton and Paul, the large ensemble lined up for Ridley Scott’s epic includes John Turturro, Ben Kingsley, Ewen Bremner and Sigourney Weaver (Alien reunion!) The Blockbuster opens in theaters on December 12.