Steven Spielberg Drops Moses Biopic GODS AND KINGS; Warner Bros. Eyes Ang Lee as Replacement

     March 14, 2013

ang lee steven spielberg gods and kings

We have tracked the entire life cycle of Steven Spielberg’s relationship with Gods and Kings, a Moses biopic written by Michael Green (Green Lantern) and Stuart Hazeldine (Exam).  Warner Bros. asked Spielberg in September 2011.  The director entered negotiations in November 2011.  He was reportedly near a deal in January 2012.  And now, according to Deadline, Spielberg has decided to drop the project.  This is sad news for Warner Bros., but now they are free to move on—after all, time is an issue, because ideally the studio would like to beat Ridley Scott‘s competing Moses biopic (now titled Exodus) in the race to the multiplex.  WB has reached out to Ang Lee to direct, now that he’s caught up to Spielberg’s two Best Director Oscars with his Life of Pi win.  Lee is said to be interested, but hasn’t taken a formal meeting yet.

This is sure to be a high profile project once it gets the engine running, so we’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, hit the jump for a rundown of the major events in Moses’ life.

moses-rembrandt-painting

  • Moses is born in Egypt at a time when all newborn Israelite boys are to be killed.  His mother sends him down the Nile to save his life.
  • One of Pharaoh’s daughters finds baby Moses, and raises her as his own.
  • When he is grown, Moses kills an Egyptian who is beating a Hebrew slave.  He flees Egypt.
  • God appears to Moses in the form of a burning bush, and instructs Moses to deliver the Israelites out of slavery.
  • With Moses as his mouthpiece, God unleashes ten plagues on Egypt.  Among them: frogs, hail, locusts, and death to the firstborn of every household that neglected to smear lamb’s blood across their door frame.
  • Pharaoh finally lets the Israelites go.  They sing “When You Believe.”
  • Moses parts the Red Sea on the way out of Egypt—just long enough to allow millions of Israelites to pass through and zero Egyptians.
  • The Israelites set off to wander the desert for forty years.
  • God drops bread from the sky, and enables Moses to produce water from rocks.
  • Moses meets God on a mountain, where God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, inscribed on two tablets by God’s finger.
  • While he’s up there, the Israelites start worshipping a golden calf.  Moses is livid when he sees this, breaks the tablets, and orders the death of 3,000 of the disobedient.  He goes back up the mountain to get more tablets.
  • More wandering.
  • In the end, God lets Moses see the Promised Land.  But Moses dies before he can enter because of that time he hit the rock when he was supposed to speak to it.
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