Steven Spielberg Near a Deal to Direct “Gritty” Moses Epic GODS AND KINGS in Spring 2013

     January 25, 2012

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Warner Bros. and producers Dan Lin and Matti Leshem are developing a Moses epic by the title of Gods and Kings.  They reached out to Steven Spielberg to direct last fall, but the odds seemed low since the man is already juggling so many projects.  Yet Spielberg entered into negotiations with the studio before year’s end.  Now word comes that Spielberg is very close to signing on the dotted line.  The director just wrapped on Lincoln, and is already at work on Robopocalypse, so he’s tied up for at least a year.  But Warner Bros. hopes they can get Gods and Kings in production with Spielberg in the director’s chair by March or April of 2013.

With the new report comes new details on what Spielberg has in mind for the massive project, which he reportedly sees as a “Braveheart-ish version of the Moses story.”  Hit the jump for more.

Beyond the Braveheart comparison, Deadline‘s source had a lot to say:

  • The script by Stuart Hazeldine and Michael Green tells the whole story from birth to death: “[Moses] coming down the river, being adopted, leaving his home, forming an army, and getting the Ten Commandments.”
  • There is no intention to film in 3D.
  • Spielberg wants a gritty reality for the production—more Saving Private Ryan than The Ten Commandments.  Says the source: “There have been glossy versions of the Moses story but this would be a real warrior story.”

I am very intrigued.  Spring 2013 may be too optimistic, but as we saw with Lincoln, Spielberg will stay with a project for years if he is inspired.  We’ll let you know if/when it becomes official.  In the meantime, here is a rundown of the major events in Moses’ life:

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  • 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.
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