Warner Bros. Wants Steven Spielberg to Direct GODS AND KINGS, a Movie About the Life of Moses

     September 28, 2011


Warner Bros. and producers Dan Lin and Matti Leshem are in development on Gods and Kings, an epic cinematic take on the life of Biblical hero Moses.  Last time we checked in on the project, WB was courting Darren Aronofsky to direct, and the plot was said to focus on the Exodus (i.e. older Moses).  However, Deadline says the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine covers “the life of Moses from birth to death.”  This is important to me, but an update on the directorial status of Gods and Kings will be more noteworthy to everyone else.  Things presumably did not work out with Aronofsky, so the studio is setting their sights even higher: the one, the only… Steven Spielberg.  There’s no guarantee they’ll get Spielberg.  And if they do, it will become one of a dozen projects the director would eventually like to get to.  But I’m excited by the possibility.  We haven’t seen Spielberg direct a big, effects-driven tentpole since 2005′s War of the Worlds.  [Edit: Not sure how I forgot Indiana Jones 4.  Still excited, but this section is invalid.]  The epic-but-animated The Adventures of Tintin doesn’t count, and his next films War Horse and Lincoln look to be more character dramas.  Robopocalypse could break the streak, but the life of Moses is the prototype for the special-effects summer blockbuster.  Thousands of frogs will rise from the Nile!  The Red Sea will be parted!  The desert ground splits open to swallow up rebellious Reubenites!

Speaking of which, a rundown of the many notable events in Moses’ life is after the jump.

Spoilers for Exodus through Deuteronomy follow.


  • 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 gifts him 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.

The last movie that tried to cover all this, The Ten Commandments, was 220 minutes long.  Can a movie be four hours long in 2011?  And is the writer with a co-credit on the Green Lantern screenplay really the guy we want to assign to this?

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  • Strong Enough

    And is the writer with a co-credit on the Green Lantern screenplay really the guy we want to assign to this?


  • JR209

    This is exciting, as much as I doubt Spielberg would direct this, mainly because he has two movies set on his slate and probably a dozen more in the works, I think this could be a very exciting project. People who say biblical stories are boring have it all wrong, stories from the bible make for some of the most epic possible movies ever.

  • Vince

    Get your facts rights they wander the desert for forty years only after that bit with the golden calf

  • billyjean

    not gonna happen. or atleast not in the next 5 or 6 years.

    he’s lock for LINCOLN! DDL is lock and loaded for the role. and Robocalypse will be Spielberg’s relaxing time after a very serious period drama. after that he may want a time off since he just went Malick and shot 3 films back to back to back.

  • Matthew

    Aronofsky is a much better director than Spielberg. His interpretation would be tons more interesting. This is disappointing.

  • Ryan

    No Spielberg directed a big tent pole movie in 2008. Indiana Jones 4. I can understand wanting to forget it, but it did happen, so at least we have seen a big Spielberg film more recently than 2005

    • http://twitter.com/#!/colliderbrendan Brendan Bettinger

      Oh, right. Very sloppy of me. Added a note acknowledging my idiocy.

  • Sugreev2001

    What’s with so many directors green lighting these bullshit religious movies !!!? Like religion hasn’t already f’ed up enough people on the planet…you need to paint it like it’s a good thing.Anyone who actually believes these stories as real are bonafide mental retards.

    • Grimcicle

      I’m an atheist, but the Bible does have some pretty interesting stories in it. The best of which, in my opinion, is the story of Moses. Watch the Charleton Heston film, and feel the epicness.

    • Victor

      Spoken like a true “genius”. You tell em, man who believes the earth was formed by an explosion and that everything that we see today, including how the galaxy works, is all coincidence. Everybody knows that something 10,000 times more complicated then a car can just design itself and build itself if you just give it enough time. (I really hope you picked up on the sarcasm, but that’s highly questionable, since it would take a brain that works and yours is probably still waiting for evolution.) P.S. I wonder how a book that’s fake can possibly be right in every prophecy that it has written in it. (To long a list for me to add here). Do some research and stop listening to your television.

      • Victor

        My question is, what’s up with Aronofsky? Is he becoming difficult to work with? First (from what I know) the Wolverine project and now this. How many films is he gonna pull out of?

      • Doug

        Right in every prophecy it’s ever written?

        “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

        I’m pretty sure his name wasn’t Immanuel (somebody double check me on that). It messed up a prophecy of an event that happens LATER IN THE BIBLE.

    • Bernard G

      Each of their own, but judging by your rants of attacking the other party. It paint you like the same overzealous religious fanatic you’re trying hard to hate, no? Ironic right?
      BTW, Bible have plenty of interesting stories imbued in it. Not just hate, but being compassionate, being love & be loved, don’t judge other people, etc. But off course, when it come down the each person who read it. It become lost in translation, & human as we know with are more fond to the violent & hateful side of things.
      @Doug: you by the mean of very own lost in translation that i have mentioned above. I don’t need to explain it to you, i believe you are capable of google or wiki the meaning of Immanuel.

      • Victor

        Well here’s the problem Bernard, u had to read the comment I was responding too made by sugreev2001. I was responding to an offensive comment by an atheist, (wow!!! do u mean atheist can be haters too?!?) now, how does defending my belief fall into hate? You my friend need to go get a dictionary and look up the word “hate” because none of my comments had any hate words or remarks in them. If u did “read” the comments and consider my comment a hate comment but u don’t consider the Christian bashing that sugreev2001 does hateful, then u my are being bias (Shocking. a bias atheist). Grimcicle, who commented right before me, is an atheist but he doesn’t offend anybody with his comments. I was just pointing out to the atheist who believe that believing in God is crazy, how crazy NOt believing in Him is.

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  • donkey

    Moses sounded funny. He could not talk very well. The miracles are not important, just watch him try to talk and eat and the rest will fall in line.

  • jabba359

    Well, since Aronofsky is busy (hopefully working on his Noah’s Ark epic) and Spielberg has lost his mojo, here’s a few directors that would be awesome:

    -Paul Thomas Anderson (have him re-team with Daniel Day-Lewis as Moses)
    -Nicolas Winding Refn
    -Duncan Jones
    -Alfonso Cuarón
    -Christopher Nolan
    -Quentin Tarantino

  • Ramona McQuillan

    Michael Bay should direct this and let Jonah Hill play Moses. He’s one of the finest contemporary actors

    • Victor

      And Michael Bay is one of the best directors. (We are being sarcastic right?)

  • stttttttb

    God! Who can believe that hebrews were slaves in Ancient Egypt and that Egyptians killed new born babies?

    Come on! Or at least they should do a film that respect historical facts.

  • morteza jafari

    Good time for you, dear Professor. Mr. Steven Spielberg. Morteza Jafari of Iran. Greek political refugees. Writer and director. I’m talking about an important issue?

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