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?