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Ridley Scott Talks Controversial Casting Of ‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Plus 10 New Pics From The Biblical Epic

Ridley Scott Talks Controversial Casting Of 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' Plus 10 New Pics From The Biblical Epic

As Ridley Scott puts the finishing touches on “Exodus: Gods And Kings” before it opens this Christmas (and remember, he’s starting production on “The Martian” with Matt Damon this fall, which likely means it’ll be in the can sooner rather than later), there is already controversy brewing around the Biblical epic. With Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Ramses II, Sigourney Weaver as Queen Tuya, and Aaron Paul as Joshua, there has been criticism about casting white Hollywood actors in non-white roles. But Scott explains why he chose to go down that road.

“Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture,” the director told Yahoo.

It’s an interesting answer, but in a separate interview with The Guardian, Edgerton offered a bit more sympathy to those who have taken offense at the Hollywood approach to this ancient tale. “I got asked to do a job and it would have been very hard to say no to that job,” he said about the concerns voiced online. He added, “I do say that I am sensitive to it and I do, I do understand and empathize with that position.”

It’s likely an issue around the movie that won’t go away any time soon, so let us know your thoughts below. But first, some new pics from the film, which opens on December 12th.

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Comments

idalis

Its like watching blackface….so racist…really you can’t find ANY LEADING Actors of color???? REALLLY ….gosh it looks ridiculous when these people have freckles and blue eyes….its not Egyptian or Jewish at all…give me a break…

Dra

Its is interesting that Mr. Scott in his conversation indicated there were many theories on the ethic makeup on the Africans that rule Egypt. Mr. Scott could took a trip across the english channel to Paris, buy a ticket at the Louvre museum and spend a few hours in tne Egyptian antiquities wing. Mr. Scott would have unmistakely known that Egyptian people during the time of Exodus were black aka Nubian people. That would include Moses himself and Egyptian priest. I my opinion do your research before making a movie that would include movie watchers.

Aj

That’s the most ignorant explanation I’ve ever heard science and history hsd proven Egyptians where black.

crgaillee

WoW! the troll patrol is out in force.

Christopher Tracey

Bullshit answer by Ridley Scott! Why is it that we can't determine what race the ancient egyptians were but we definitely know that the romans were white. GTFOH! White Supremacy at its finest!

euliss benoit

this movie pushed by whites.is proof that the white race is the lowest race on earth.always was always will be.the ancient egyptians was a black race of people.for over 5000 years in egpyt.but for money and greed sake.whites went ahead and did the movie.alqadia terroiest is not lower than the white race of human beins.if you want to call them humans.im out raged.that the white race has absolutly zero class.never had never will.

J.

Everything about this movie looks so fake… did they even take a look at Ramses II's portraits, which are so consistent for pharaonic standards? Did they even take a look at his actual mummified body? It looks as if they tried to find the actor who LESS resembled him… I am not familiar with the actor and maybe he's very talented, but they're portraying a historical character, they could at least try to find someone who resembled him…

The gold and jewelry look so fake… the outfits more Roman than Egyptian. Then again, it was the same in the old version, but at least Yul Brynner looked believable as Ramses… sometimes. Don´t even get me started on Christian Bale.

I don´t really care that much, I mean, I don´t go to the movies for historical accuracy- especially Bible based (and biased) movies. I just wish we could see a movie set in ancient Egypt that actually resembled the real thing. And the ultimate Ramses II portrayal is yet to be achieved. He was a way more interesting character than popular culture has made us believe.

Max

I hope the film fails. I won't go anywhere near it. Holywood will never change until the lose enough MONEY.

Toni stras

Hello Everyone first I am from Italy second Egyptians are white I am Historiographer. Any countries close to the mid it run sea are white like Italy and Spain, Etc.
Second Egyptian they had one of the most strongest Empire And they had slaves from all over Africa and Europe. So I hope everyone understand that. And beside I hope u people read instead of writing something u don't know about because seriously most of the comments are dum.

Mike

Egyptians were meant to be "black" mixed with Heritage and even Somalian heritage. I think personally this is disgusting not on the actors part but the casting and also directors input towards this film. Some of you will probably have ignorant views but the truth is they are just stripping a biblical story away from truth in order to meet the increased sales figures for the white demographic. I love to watch this film however I believe making this film was a bit political. Ridley Scott extremely let down. Christian bales character was ok in film but would like to see black actors Arab actors and white actors working in a collaborate manner.

Amr

It is true Egyptians weren't white but they were nevrr black either
Not accepting Hollywood's whitewashing doesnt mean that we can accept blsck afrocentrics robbing Egyptians history
Egypt has always been middle eastern
Blacks (nubians) were the traditional enemies of Egypt
Since that exodus problem has erupted and I 've been seeing photoshoped images of darkened skin statues of ancient Pharaohs surfing around the internet claiming that ancient Egypt was black
Such cheap attitude by blacks robbing other ppl's history to make it up for the lack of their own

Paul

Ridley royally f@#$%^ up,
why?
Because even a classic Hollywood f$%^ up like Mel Gibson (who is on record for having racially slandered someone) could cast just the right actors for his Mayan epic Apocalypto. Ridley had no excuse for bringing Bale and Edgerton onboard, except the old chestnut, box-office draw.
Hell. maybe the negative press is still good press.

BOB again

"Its a film the story is more important than the colour of your skin". hahahahhahahahahha.
wake up mate.

bob

Its a film the story is more important than the colour of your skin. hahahahhahahahahha.
wake up mate

Jason

Every bible story ever has been whitewashed. Give them a break. Hollywood in general needs to be held accountable, directly preceded by American culture.

ridleygram

One fair minded citizen wrote on here
People don't want historical accuracy, they want actors other than white people to get an equal chance for roles. And yes, we do have Hollywood to blame.
Defines racism rather well.

Already tired of all the racist comments regarding a film nobody has even seen yet. Constant moaning about the 'white cast'. Check out the whole cast and crew list and apologise when you see the ethnicity.
Pissed off with internet trolls and shoddy journalism on endless sites who 'know better'. Its a film the story is more important than the colour of your skin.

Arthur Amyfield

Not only the casting is screwed up and inaccurate, but the movie looks corny.This is a 100 million dollar mess and lies. Hollywood really distorted history this time, as usual, I mean are there already hundreds of silly corny white Egypt movies already, why we need another one. I won't pay my money for this garbage.

Stephen

I am indifferent to what people are calling white washing or the cast. This is a moot point to me. I am more interested if this movie can stay true to the story as told in the book of Exodus vs the farce seen in the movie, Noah. I will judging this movie based on the book of Exodus and the Cecil DeMille's masterpiece 10 Commandments.

Mookie

I respect Scott, and I genuinely hope that this is a good movie. But Christian Bale's GQ ready hair cut is soooo distracting!

42tribes

Ridley Scott is full of it with a sh before it

Any fool with an internet connection can see what Ramses ii and all the Pharoahs looked like and their DNA. Ridley Scott deserves far more heat than Donald Sterling.

Missy's

This is crap, there was people of color not white people in Egypt, which is not the actual name, they (Hollywood) need to tell the truth and stop whitewashing history, everyone knows, in this day and age that white people where not in Egypt, and to continue to depict this lie is very sad!

Mona

Same old Hollywood whitewashing that's been going on forever. Latent, under the radar racism embedded so deeply in the culture (and us) that we just take it for granted. Same reason black people serve more prison time than white people convicted of the same crime. I'm not saying Scott is a racist, I don't know him. The studio undoubtedly preferred white people. They automatically assumed white actors would make more money for them. I'm sure they never seriously considered hiring anybody else. Most of the actors of color are in slave roles, which demonstrates how hard it is to move forward in our thinking.

toots

Ridley Scott, Biblical epic? Someone wake me up when it's all over.

Lou

I shall stick to Heston&Brynner. Terrible, terrible costumes. Moses' armour looks like something Attila could have worn. You would expect Scott to do better than this.

Black Paladin 500

As a Black person I am particularly sensitive to the concern of racial sensitivity and accuracy in casting a historical picture. However, as Christ said, far better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I am for having more racially representative casting in the picture industry, however let us not promote another form of racism and say you have to be a certain color to help tell a religious story. Religion, in this case, Judeo-Christianity, belongs to all cultures. Are we to say only Ethiopian Jews can play Moses, Jesus Christ and all the Prophets of this largest Faith in the world. Invite all cultures to portray our spiritual teachers. Would God expect any less of us. Lets see what these great actors can bring to this story. Block no one out. And lets the African,s Asians, Europeans, Native Americans, all the people of the world offer their contributions to a religious history that has no racial limits.

rodie

Hollywood isn't a charity. It's not going to cast a bunch of modern day Egyptians to play some ancient Egyptians just to make a certain group of people happy. They are going to cast movie stars who are representing characters with other attributes different from their own. That's one of the fundamentals of acting.

Bob

The popular rule in Hollywood is, whenever possible, cast the better actor, you'll get better mileage. That being said, there are several excellent NON Caucasian actors out there that could have been cast. But again, this is Ridley Scott. He can cast Carrot Top as Moses and Hollywood would be ok with it.

antbwan

For of all, the story in the bible doesn't make any sense. Moses and some characters were based on African Egyptian kings that were black. Moses was based on Thutmoses III and Ramsese II was dead long before that time anyway. Archeological findings and study show it was only Africans living in Kush (Egypt) at the time, Semites (Jews) invaded around 1500bc

TokyoRift

Although it would be nice if filmmakers shot for Historical accuracy I am not complaining. It's just a blessing to have the Biblical Epic genre back in business all the from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Aronofsky's Noah, History Channel's The Bible to Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings. I'm looking forward to this movie and I hope it performs well at the box office despite the controversy surrounding the cast.

Jamie

If you walk into a Hollywood film expecting historical accuracy, you only have yourself to blame.

Miscanthus

PC certainly can be taken too far, but I can't help but wish there would have been at least SOME improvement in the situation since Paul Newman was cast in Exodus in the sixties. Why does the Jewish lead always have to have blue eyes?

Bigzilla

Basically, he's telling us, "Well, I was allowed to cast all the SECONDARY characters as non-white, so I did."

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