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.
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.
In September, we learned that Warner Bros. and producers Dan Lin and Matti Leshem were aiming to get Steven Spielberg to direct the biblical epic about the life of Moses, Gods and Kings. According to Twitch, this lofty aspiration has surprisingly led to formal talks with the legendary director. I can understand the appeal for Spielberg who likes going big with his movies, and Gods and Kings would present him with the challenge of measuring up to Cecil B. Demille’s 220-minute Moses epic, The Ten Commandments. While most studios today would never allow an almost four-hour movie into theaters, I’d be interested to see if Spielberg could get away with it (assuming he wanted to make a four-hour movie).
Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine‘s script covers “the life of Moses from birth to death.” Hit the jump for a great recap of the major episodes in Moses’ life. Spielberg’s next two films, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, are due out next month, and he’s prepping to go into production on his Abraham Lincoln biopic, Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
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.