..of Bible-based movies!

There’s an article up on Gawker about a few Bible-based movies in the pipeline:

1. The first is a Ridley Scott retelling of Exodus, with Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver, John, Turturro, and Aaron “It’s Science, Bitch” Paul. I’m something of a Weaver and Kingsley fan, though both have played in some pretty awful movies; so the fact that both of them are fantastic actors doesn’t necessarily reassure me.

I wonder if they’ll really stick to Exodus, or if they’re just using it as short-hand to mean “that Moses stuff.” There’s some interesting stories there. Certainly, the baby in the basket cum prince cum exile cum freedom fighter cum prophet stuff is pretty compelling, though it’ll require a whole lot of embellishment to turn into a feature-length film. I’m assuming that they’ll stick in some better known stories from the exile as well, like the Golden Calf. It’ll be interesting to see if they put in some of the other stuff, like the taking of the census, the loooong list of ordinances, or leperfying Miriam.

2. The second movie is a Darren Aronofsky imagining of the story of Noah, starring Russell “Are you not entertained?” Crowe and Hermione. It also, interestingly enough, will include Anthony Hopkins playing Methuselah (who, according to the numbers provided in Genesis, would have died the year of the flood, but who is not actually mentioned in the flood narrative).

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Crowe is certainly a fit for Gladiator-esque epics, but Noah is just about a guy who chats with God, builds a boat, and then flashes his grandson. It’s not exactly the kind of epic that Hollywood seems to like. I can well imagine how they could spruce it up, but I feel like they’re going to have to deviate quite far from the story to do so. We’ll see.

The Christian Science Monitor sums up my crotchety feelings quite well:

“Hollywood is more and more unable to create original stories,” she says. The industry is reaching for Biblical stories because they have name recognition, high stakes, a built-in “fan base,” and an epic quality that seems ideal for today’s CGI technology, she notes.