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Ridley Scott Says ‘Exodus’ Would Never Get Financed Starring “Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such”

Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such”

Ever since the marketing campaign for “Exodus: Gods And Kings” rolled out a small but not insignificant chorus has risen, mostly online, about the casting of Ridley Scott‘s Biblical epic. Essentially, there have been complaints that the film features a distinct lack of ethnic actors from the region, and instead relies on A-list actors slotting in roles of Moses, Ramses, and more. While he vaguely addressed the issue over the summer, with the movie due in theaters soon, Scott has become much more candid about why he cast Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton over an actor more representative for those roles (or any of the secondary players).

“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott told Variety. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

While his vernacular is a bit crude, he has a point. Sadly, the state of blockbuster filmmaking also requires names that will sell tickets, and putting Batman in your movie versus an actor that is far less recognized, just isn’t an option in today’s climate. Not to say that justifies the line of thinking, but it’s the reality of the situation, for better or worse. 

Still, we’re sure Scott’s comments will evoke further discussion as the movie heads towards its December 12th release date. Until then, here’s a new featurette and TV spot.

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"i can’t make the movie i want to make with an inflated budget with a black lead"????? Since when was Ramses "black"? He wasn’t a Nubian, he was Egyptian. Egyptians are not black. Not in the 13th Century B.C. not in the 21st Century. Nor were Hebrews in the 13th Century B.C. "black" or "Egyptian" for that matter. So I’m not really sure what @Mr.T is talking about. Ramses and Moses didn’t look "black" anymore than they looked Caucasian.


Denzel Washington or Will Smith could have gotten huge financing for this movie and Mohammed So and So could have been cast. Keep searching for excuses Mr. Ridiculous Scott because you will find them in the Hollywood book of lies.

Dusty Ayres

@AMR: And you know this, how? You’re just being a racist and also being full of it as far as history is concerned.

@Marc; That attitude is why the movie was not as great as it could have been.


Actuallly Edgerton is too british to act an egyptian and the british accents r making it worse, but mind u that Casting black actors is even less acurate than white north European ones, Egyptians were are middle eastyern medeterraneans, neither european white nor African Black


It’s a Hollywood movie. That’s how the industry works. Why is everyone crying about the actors?


Both these guys are fine actors. However, this is still flat out ridiculous & it is fact that Joel Edgarton does not put butts in seats. What Ridley Scott speaks candidly about regarding financing is accurate & I respect that he speaks so freely. The tragedy is that no one is challenging convention so this state of affairs remains unchanged.


Russell Crowe wasn’t a household name until after The Gladiator.

Calling BS

I agree w Unconvinced. Further more Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the lot won’t help sell tickets or secure financing either.


@ Bill -you head right on the head. I still can’t remember the names of the leads in Life Of Pi and that film was outstanding and did very good box office. Watch what happens to Scott’s film at the box office. a film like his needs all butts in the seats and from what I hear 90% of Black movie goers are set to boycott or stay home okay and then add in the other cultures who have issues with the casting and lets see what his numbers will be!


I heard the same thing ages ago at a preview screening of Amistad. Some of the filmmakers were on hand for a Q&A and someone asked why a black director like Spike Lee wasn’t chosen. Producer Debbie Allan said, "No one’s giving Spike enough money to make Amistad. When Steven [Spielberg] signed on money was longer an issue." It is a business after all.


It blesses my heart that the film community is calling out the b.s. behind "Hollywood logic." Sadly the rest of America will buy it… I agree with Caro however. Will or Denzel could pull this… Where are the "new" versions? They’re stuck as Mohammed so-and-so from such-and-such.


Yeah I’ve never heard of this Ridley Scott fellow either, I think he may have a point, I wouldn’t give this unknown director or producer a dime considering he’s probably never made any hit movies or television shows. Plus, actors such as Michael B Jordan, Dev Patel, Riz Ahmed and Michael Ealy haven’t had any blockbuster hits or Oscar buzz in the past few years and simply aren’t bankable unlike this actor…you know, the guy in the Great Gatsby, no not Leo the othe guy. Oh yeah and he was in that MMA movie Warrior, no not Tom Hardy the other guy.

Chinese Mark

Why can’t a British filmmaker do as he pleases? In an attempt to make art, anyone should do their best to see their own vision realized.


Then dont market it hear in Egypt ! Nor the middl east , indonesia ,singapore ,middle east , dont show it in the Dubai events , because most of us up there are Mohammad so and so …..


so you mean to tell me there was no place for Denzel Washington, Idris Alba or Morgan Freeman. I’m sorry but this is a an example of intrinsic racism! I am an actor and writer and there is a multitude of talented bankable stars of all ethnicities.

Hannes Minkema

That’s the elaborate version of "I want to make an expensive film, so I need to earn a lot of money, so I choose the actors that will earn my a lot of money".

It’s just that. A money driven thing. He could have said: "We all want to make big bucks with this thing, so Mohammed-so-and-so can kiss his little ass goodbye".


You think i won’t go if the lead actor’s name is Mohammad? I won’t go because the lead actor’s name is Christian! Besides, why Mohammad? What Muslims were going to do your Israelite movie? You couldn’t find one Jewish actor to play Moses?


Most historians agree that Egyptians weren’t black. They still would have looked more ethnic than Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale though.


Scott admits his name is not enough to finance a movie ,his last movies was box failure , normally directors instinct and capability was enough to make movie happen , he shows lack of confidence to pull things out and mount success on other people shoulder think about is Christian bale is same Charlton Huston off course not he is character actor not star . James Cameron didn’t use anyone famous for avatar , director make movie did he forgot this ?

Nu Mythology

Unconvinced! F*ck this entire movie. I hope it bombs!


It’s ANTI-SEMITIC. Read carefully: he’s saying Jews won’t finance a picture starring a "Muhammad…"

Docta Shock

I don’t get it, is he saying the actors in ho knew the actors in Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Avitar were A list actors?


you can have Amr Waked from Lucy

Danierl Lane

I have to write it again. Fck the Spanish. All of them. Stop giving them money for productions.

Daniel Lane

Except for LA Confidential and lesser seen The Insider, Russell Crowe wasn´t well-known aroud the world. Yet, R.Scott managed to mount Gladiator with the rising star to put him into the vernacular stratosphere. Excusing his chosen leads for tax rebates doesn´t qualify. There are actors that would have sufficed well in his new join-the-dots plotted epic. And fck the Spanish.


Historically, the Egyptians were probably black Africans. The idea that they were ‘Mohammed’ in and of itself is ignorant and racist, as Islam was at least 2500 years in the future. Sad.

Shite Machine

Ridley Scott is a terrible filmmaker who keeps trading on the fact that he has made two amazing films, Aliens and Blade Runner. But what was hist last good film? Gladiator? And lord, please don’t say Prometheus or The Counselor.


Incredible that in 2014 this lame excuse continues to he peddled. Forget the internstional box office… never mind diverse world audiences… disregard historical accuracy… If only because it would have made the film a more authentic, more interesting spectacle the "Egyptians" could have been more sensibly cast (especially after the ibdustry’s recent shameless celebration of Argo’s brown-facing). If I go see it, it will be with a bitter before-taste.


How did apocalypto get funded again?


Man, that’s sad a famous director who has made many blockbusters claims that he can’t get financing for this film if he actually cast newbies which may even be better actors. This is as if no would believe he can make a good film if he casts anyone other than Hollywood’s A list. Alas Hollywood has not changed much since the 40’s still casting Caucasians as Fu Man Chu or Ming the Merciless. This is sad in a way this is why many a great film is coming out of Canada and other countries now. Looks like it will go strait to Netflix a couple of weeks after the premiere.


He’s in for the money. People are no stupid as stupid as whorewood think the movie will suck terribly




Nonsense. Omar Sharrief did quite well in Hollywood back in the day playing various roles. This rationale makes no sense. The man who created the Alien franchise is a wuss. Who knew?

kareem hamed

OFC there is….Khaled el nabawi or amr waked or even omar el shrief will do far better than Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton


I love Mohammad So-and-so.


Bale said in an interview that race shouldn’t matter, that as long as you have the talent to play the role it shouldn’t matter who plays it….So with that logic look out for Jack Nicholson as Toby in the remake of Roots with Zac Efron as the young Kunta Kenta…and why is that every period piece taking place before the 1900’s the actors always have a British accents


“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Hey Ridley, maybe the movie shouldn’t be made


Actors of color (Will Smith, Hally Berry, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, so on and so forth) are some of the most bankable in Hollywood, and much more reflective of the people of that region.


Ridley Scott’s whole attitude towards filmmaking in one sentence.


So very, very uninspiring – a choice like that. I won’t waste my precious time seeing the movie. Very disrespectful perspective. Ridley Scott is stuck in an old perspective of the world. Me thinks Ridley Scott needs to learn how to sell with some integrity. zzzzzz…


In early theater, men played women’s roles. In film, it’s about who is the best choice for the role, who is convincing. If you want to change how things work, go become a casting director, and influence the way films are made; being an internet preacher won’t get you far, and it is far less potent than actual change. Joel Edgarton actually does look like some of the statues and art we have from that time period. Who here is an Egyptologist who knows the skin color of Ramses II? None of you? Gotcha.


I’m fairly certain that this movie could have been green lit with Will Smith and Denzel as the leads. If you need "younger" acts that could do a decent job and help sell this movie, they could have cast Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor. As it is, this is just another biblical epic that will look "pretty" by a very narrow sighted portion of society’s standards.


this movie is pathetic, in fact I would have maybe been interested in the movie if it had been somewhat more truthful to the biblical story and the setting and ethnicity of the characters. As it is it’s just laughable…

Mr .T


i did not catch your two removed comments. i take it they were written to educate me on hollywood finances and race relations? if they were about religion, please keep them to yourselves. however, i would definitely give you the benefit of the doubt that you composed illuminating comments or the express purpose of enlightening a fool, and i commend you for that. your condescending tone does leave a lot to be admired, yet, it probably matches my own when debating historical supernatural fairy tales.


Oh perhaps I lack intellect, I will gladly take this one on the chin and put my hand up. Umm, there is a show more button. I’m here all night guys, the next clown arrives when I finish hahaha


2 comments removed. Wow, perhaps my comments of truth better reside on more intellectual sites where less precious authors allow open discussion. Let’s go for 3.


MR T, You are the perfect example of the saying, "Never try to educate a fool".


What is so crude about explaining the process? Someone explains the racial set backs and all of a sudden they are considered crude. No he’s simple stating fact and not dancing around the subject. Gezuz.


At least he could have found someone to play Moses, who was not named Christian.

Mr .T

indeed, caro. why aren’t more middle-eastern and african or african american (african euro, as well) given a shot at leads in larger budget films besides denzel and smith? anyways, is this a story that even needs to be retold? for one, i will not go see it. i have had my fill of biblical nonsense in this life and was suckered into seeing Noah recently. no more of that!


So, how does he explain Life of Pi? And don’t tell me Life of Pi book is more popular than the bible.


Sadly Scott is right.There is no middle-eastern actors famous in USA or in the world

@Mr T: you forget Denzel or Will but now where are the new Denzel or Will Smith?

Mr .T

gotta love that hollywood logic. i can’t make the movie i want to make with an inflated budget with a black lead, so i got batman and an aussie to be egyptians. movie’s gonna suck, anyhow, like every single biblical epic – a genre that should have gasped its last breath with the gibson fiasco.


Joel Edgarton will not sell more tickets or get more financing. And it’s the Joel Edgarton casting that’s so egregious.

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