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Back in March we learned that Ridley Scott wanted Christian Bale to play Moses in the upcoming biblical epic Exodus, and today we learn that not only has the Prometheus director gotten his way, he's also apparently found an actor to the play the film's central antagonist. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Joel Edgerton, last seen playing the awful, racist Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, is now in talks to join the project as Rameses, the Egyptian pharaoh who kept the Jewish slaves in bondage until Moses was able to free them and lead a pilgrimage back to the Promised Land.
While Scott is still waiting for his next film, The Counselor, to come out in theaters this October, apparently Exodus is really picking up steam and is actually looking to start production in September. Steve Zaillian, the Oscar winning screenwriter of movies like Schindler's List, Moneyball, and Gangs of New York, wrote the most recent draft of the script, which was originally put together by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (Tower Heist). Filming will take place in Spain, Morocco and England.
Edgerton is without question one of the busiest growing names in Hollywood right now. He has completed production on both the Australian thriller Felony as well as the western Jane Got A Gun, and is currently attached to star opposite Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst in Jeff Nichols' sci-fi action movie Midnight Special. Back in May he also signed on to star alongside Johnny Depp in the Barry Levinson-directed gangster film Black Mass, but ever since Depp walked away from the project its future has been left up in the air. He is also attached to star in The Double Hour with Michelle Williams, but presumably that project won't start up until after Exodus has completed production.
One of the most memorable portrayals of Rameses on the big screen is certainly Yul Brenner's turn from 1956's The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston. Watch the clip to get a taste of the performance that Edgerton's will undoubtedly be compared to:
Scott has always managed to assemble extremely talented casts for his project, but it will be interesting to see if he can make Exodus' lineup as impressive as The Counselor's, which includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. The film will be in theaters on October 25th, and you can watch the most recent trailer for the movie below.