Okay, so I’m thinking, Steve Zaillian writing and Ridley Scott directing the new movie Exodus: Gods and Kings means that, though they are both agnostics or atheists, they are at least great storytellers who make movies that people actually see. You know, as in good stories. Maybe, just maybe, they won’t screw it up like Aronofsky did with Noah. The trailer already looks very cool showing some of the Ten Plagues.
But then again there was that “trick the Christians” Noah trailer…
Look, I’m not talking about ridiculous fundamentalist demands to reproduce the story as the Gospel according to the Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. That movie had tons of flaws to it and departed from the Bible at key points, yet religious movie watchers still loved it because it didn’t depart from the Biblical themes.
I am talking about the subversion of Judeo-Christian heroes and their stories with a secular agenda. I hope it’s not happening again.
Here is the Christian Bale quote about Moses from Christianity Today online:
“I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life,” the forty-year-old star said. “He’s a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling.”
Look, Bible heroes are NOT perfect sinless creatures. Only Jesus fits that bill. Yes, Moses murdered a man, and he had a character arc that went from being adopted and raised as a pagan Egyptian to a conversion to his troubled and tumultuous faith. He had difficulty trusting Yahweh. He didn’t want to be God’s spokesman because he stuttered. And he even had arguments with God.
But Schizophrenic? Barbaric? Really?
First a Noah who is an environmentalist whacko vegan animal rights madman with delusions.
Now, a Moses who is a schizophrenic barbarian?
What next? A Jesus with Christophobia and bipolar delusions, who hates God, and wants to sin?
Oh wait, Scorsese already did that in the 80s and it flopped big time too. Whew.
I only hope that the comment is more a reflection of the actor’s own ignorant bigotry than of the actual movie.
But I’ll tell you on release week.
I pray it isn’t happening all over again.
UPDATE: Darrick reminded me: Then again, Ridley Scott did give us Jesus as an alien.
Not a good track record, there, either, brilliant studio execs.
P.S. I wrote a novel, Joshua Valiant, that tells the story of the conquest of Canaan after the Red Sea event, and I have a very human, very flawed Moses and Joshua in a very brutal world — with plenty of Biblical sex and violence — and gritty real faith. Check it out here.