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For as long as The Bible has been around, there have been people retelling the stories of miracles and supernatural occurrences that are within its pages. So the real surprise in Paramount mounting a reboot of The Ten Commandments isn't that happening, rather that it's coming so quickly after the rather middle-of-the-road release of Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods And Kings.
Tracking Board has the scoop, in which the studio is linked as co-conspirator to production shingle Disruption Entertainment's plans to bring the biblical epic into modern times. This isn't the first time Paramount will be telling the story of the supreme law of The Lord, as they were also behind Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 and 1956 renditions of the same story. More recently, Paramount spun some biblical gold with Noah, which was released last year to the tune of $362.6 million across the globe.
No talent has been sought after to bring The Ten Commandments, but it's not hard to see why Paramount would be going for a third bite at the apple. Religious blockbusters are a niche of film-making that's been growing by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. The most recent example of this craze is August's surprise hit, War Room, which has netted $67 million on a $3 million budget, and managed to be the film to unseat Straight Outta Compton's box office hot streak. While this might look like a direct path to victory, there's just one big factor to keep in mind: the budget.
While films like War Room and God's Not Dead have been making headlines with their box office glory, it's only seen that way because of their massive return of investment. Historically, The Ten Commandments have been a story that's told with anything but a modest budget, considering the spectacle that's on display throughout. Though if you convert the budget of the 1956 original into the worth of today's market, you'd see that $116.4 million was all it took for Cecil B. DeMille to build the world that God allegedly only took 7 days to create. This isn't too far off from the budget of Exodus: Gods And Kings, which came in at $140 million in production alone, and brought in $268 million worldwide.
Of course, the ultimate competition that Paramount's modern version of The Ten Commandments will have to measure up to is itself. The 1956 classic is still a mainstay at Easter, as the film is shown around that time on ABC as the programming event of the holiday. Much like It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, or It's A Wonderful Life, the film is one of those traditions people sit their families around the TV for. Even in the trailer we've included below, you can get the sense of enthusiasm that the most famous version of The Ten Commandments elicited in its 1990 restoration – a whole 34 years after the film's release.
The Ten Commandments has no production schedule or release date in mind just yet. Though we'd assume that whichever year is chosen for release, Good Friday will be the optimal time to release the picture into theaters. Gotta love tradition.