Saturday, 19 July 2014

New stills for Exodus: Gods And Kings arrive online

Ridley Scott (Prometheus) filmed Exodus: Gods And Kings last year in a way that seemed almost under the radar, and judging by the first trailer it looks to be a biblical epic on a scale not seen since Cecil B. De Mille's The Ten Commandments (1956). Alongside that first trailer, we also have two new stills from the film.

The stills show Christian Bale's (The Dark Knight Rises) Moses and Joel Edgerton's (Warrior) Pharoah Ramses, together in the more harmonious phase of a relationship that swiftly frays and disintegrates in spectacular fashion. Moses, of course, is charged with leading his people to the promised land and emancipation, a goal Ramses has no intention of permitting.

There are also our first glimpses of Sigourney Weaver (Avatar) and John Turturro (The Good Shepherd) as Ramses' parents, Tuya and Seti respectively. Also in evidence is a sense of the old school Hollywood sets Scott has had constructed for his vision of ancient Egypt.

Even for Scott, a man for whom confidence has never been an issue, Exodus: Gods And Kings sees him at something of a peak.

A spiritual sister to just one of his classics, Gladiator (2000), this is swords and sandals on a truly enormous scale. And, like Gladiator, at its beating heart lies an intimate struggle between two men: Joel Edgerton's Ramses and Christian Bale's Moses.

Moses was rescued as a baby, tradition has it, discovered in bulrushes along the banks of the River Nile, abandoned by a desperate mother when the then-Pharaoh ordered the murder of male newborns among his Hebrew slaves. Found by the Pharaoh's daughter, he was raised with the royals, alongside the future Rhamses II (Joel Edgerton). But a burning bush speaking with the voice of his people's god convinced Moses to free 600,000 Israelite slaves and lead them through the desert to escape the ten deadly plagues infesting Egypt.

It will also, as the trailer stands proud testament, see Scott part the might of the Red Sea. "And let me tell you," Scott recently told Empire Magazine of the moment we first see its full force, showcased at the very end of this trailer: "When the big boy comes in, it's the best thing you've ever seen."

The movie itself was shot in a ridiculously quick 74 days, on locations including Almeria in Spain. "I'm just really experienced and I know how to use five cameras or seven cameras, or eleven cameras if required, honestly without even really thinking about it," says Scott of his speed. "It's just about knowing where to put them, you know? It can shorten schedules dramatically, so it kills people coming through. You know, the studio says, 'Well, Ridley did this in 74 days... You can't have 150!'"

Exodus: Gods And Kings will hit UK cinemas on 26 December.

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