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

by     Posted 2 years, 330 days ago


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:


  • 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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  • Strong Enough

    this will be the greatest film ever

    • RCS

      Been hoping for this kind of movie! It will be a winner! Oscar winner!!! It is the right time
      For this type of movie! MR. Spielberg, you will do an awesome job!

  • CanIHaveASlice?

    What about Interstellar?

  • Carson Dyle

    It being gritty sorta precludes this, but damn does Spielberg need to get onto IMAX. It’d be great if he could do this entirely in IMAX by 2013.

  • Jeff

    Spielberg must be worried about his legacy not having a big enough body of work–this guy has become a work horse in the last 2 years: Tin Tin, Warhorse, now Lincoln, Robopocalypse, and a Moses movie! Hope he’s doing some quality work and not churning out Hollywood crap!

  • I cry u smile

    Spielberg should direct his talent on better things and skip this religious bullshit…

  • Spock Jenkins

  • Spock Jenkins

    Let’s not forget that according to the Bible, Moses smashed the first set of tablets upon coming down from the mountain.

    After he got the second set, he had to cover his face with a veil for the rest of his days as ‘his face shone brightly with the radiance of God’, and the people were afraid to gaze upon him.

    I’m sure the movie will skip over these intriguingly mysterious parts, and the advanced technological implications of The Ark…

  • Alex-mansy

    Just so people know Moses likely never existed and he’s just a made up character. So making a ‘gritty’ film about him would be like making a gritty film about Hercules. (which doesn’t sound that bad, but not that good either)

    • Northern Star

      Of course he was a real person, both Jewish and Christian faiths of ALL denominations accept that fact, but of course, if you have some barnstorming evidence that disproves this, I’m all ears…

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  • Eric

    Having all that stuff in a movie would be way too much. The climax would have to be the Red Sea, the story is over then. The rest of the story isn’t really movie material. The Prince of Egypt showed us that. Steven Spielberg was involved with The Prince of Egypt, it seems strange that he wants to do this story again. This movie would basically have to be a live action version of The Prince of Egypt, even if they change the story a bit. I would still be excited to watch this though.

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  • David Lee

    sorry alex-mansy Moses did exist! the Bible is true and in your heart you know it my friend! Romans 10:9

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