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First Look: Christian Bale In Ridley Scott's 'Exodus'

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 30, 2013 9:22 AM
  • |
Exodus Christian Bale

From a grizzled factory worker trying to make ends meet and keep his brother on the straight and narrow in "Out Of The Furnace" to a paunchy con man in "American Hustle," Christian Bale has once again shown his chameleon-like approach in two movies released within weeks of each other. And if you need more proof of the man's ability to shape-shift as the role permits, here's further evidence.

The first official image from Ridley Scott's "Exodus" has arrived, featuring Bale riding high atop a horse as Moses. The Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Steve Zaillian penned movie features a stacked cast (Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver) and will tell the story of the man who spoke to a burning bush, brought down the ten commandments on a stone tablet and parted the Red Sea, among many other things.

Given how the seemingly impossible to screw up "The Counselor" turned out, we're equally wary as intrigued by this one. The Biblical epic lands in theaters on December 12, 2014. [Empire/Baleheads]

Exodus, set image
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  • justin W | July 10, 2014 3:13 AMReply

    I am a big fan of Ridley Scott, one of my favorite if not the favorite movies is Gladiator. There is no doubt Mr. Scott dose his home work on history. I love epic films that are action driven and have a beautiful and gripping story. But as an american and I use that term (or shit) loosely, but as a African american citizen I know that block buster movies are a big part of our culture. Friday night is movie night and maybe a little mushu. But just to the recent movie Noah Im gonna have to PASS cause when I see two WHITE guys standing in front of a AFRICAN pyramid portraying two factual African Men. Bad taste is rude, offensive and disgusting this make me wanna spit. Now I'm not one to believe in media and the crap thats out there, but images can be very damaging to younger adolescent minds (i.e. young black children). Cause when I was young learning about the Roman empire in school; to have a little imagery to go along with our lesson Miss Elia showed us Gladiator, even the part where the lions eat the christens, just like in our school books and in our bibles etc. So I might have to slap some of this black history hand across a teacher if one day my son comes home saying he learned about Egypt and Africa and he was shown this film Exodus. Its ok to say you don't like us ask Donald but damn can a black man play a African role in this day in age. Not non of that civil rights and marching shit I'm talking about historical shit when the world was ran by us.

  • Burke | August 23, 2014 6:46 PM

    Justin W. makes a powerful point and exposes a powerful truth—that the first empire-wide systematic use of slavery to benefit a nation was primarily by black Africans to mostly non-black people. It is also interesting to note that the the period of Egyptian slavery is roughly the same amount of years as the North American/European slave trade (just over 400 years). Thank G-d both are over—let's truly leave both in the past and show people a better future!

  • Hidden Truth | June 2, 2014 10:46 AMReply

    Just a month or two ago the US Christian audience did seem to think that the movie Noah was an inaccurate depiction of the story is told in the scriptures.

  • JM | June 1, 2014 5:30 PMReply

    It's funny to follow the race discussion and not watching any complaint about the lenguage. It seens natural to you thet all these characters talk in english? This kind (and most) of Hollywood movies are only made for mass entertanintment, and to be historically accurate has never been an issue at hollywood. I´m writing this watching a picture of Harrison Ford and Kate Kapshaw in IJ & the TOD, and nobody seems to notice that Miss Kapshaw's hairdo is tipycal of the 80's. As everybody's looks in the most famous westerns are more similar to the date they were filmed than to the original aspect of the real pople. Also USA's audience never seems to thinks how Disney changes european legends and books without any problem, as well with european myths, even considering USA's majority of citizens come fron european rooths. So if Inmortals of any of Hercules films have weir looks, any film about biblical myths can be as false without any problem.

  • Hidden Truth | June 2, 2014 12:01 AM

    Since the bible stories are "myths" as you say they are then hollywood should have no problem with casting a majority black cast to portray the majority of the biblical characters in it....right?

  • Hidden Truth | June 1, 2014 1:14 PMReply

    When they inaccurately cast movies especially the movies about indigenous Africans who started and built the first civilizations of Mesopotamia (Genesis 10:8-12) and the great Egyptian Dynasties as well as the true Hebrew Israelites of Israel, North East Africa (Revelations 2:9 & 3:9) such as this movie is doing it automatically makes the whole performance unbelievable/unrealistic.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that's what both movie critics and audiences look for in historical movies such as this one.
    We have enough movies out there about make believe fantasies Hollywood, enough already.
    The truth about biblical history is coming out weather Hollywood and the world is for it or not.....the truth is coming.

  • justin | July 10, 2014 3:18 AM

    Agreed. When you cast for Obama's movie where they'll probably paint him as the man that had hope but destroyed this nation, a bad father etc etc. Oh and that Joe Biden made all the real decisions for him and that he is the true American hero and that black guy was his sidekick. At least cast a black MAN.

  • daycow045 | April 4, 2014 6:01 PMReply

    The bottom line is they don't have to be white EVERYTIME. The fact that every single opportunity to choose the accurate race is a failure. . . . . . . . .EVERY SINGLE TIME. . . . .that is racism. But apparently White people are japanese samurai, african kings, Apache warrirors, Chinese Warlords, Persian Princes. . lmao. . . . .It's sad that people are so stubborn and ignorant

  • Amira | March 26, 2014 4:38 AMReply

    Noah, Abraham, Moses etc were not European. Moses' children and wife were not white, but African. Ruth, King David's ancestor was black, she was a Moabite. Jews only got the white skin through intermarriage. They were never white. Even the Egyptians were not white. When King Cyrus invaded Egypt and overthrew Pharoah So, the intermixing became more pronounced between Arab and African people. Only when the Romans arrived in Jesus time die the fairer skins begin to appear. Hollywood is made up of most uneducated white Jews who do not know their history but are quick to bask in the Russian and Eastern European descent. As a Jew myself, I am sad about this.

  • Beverly | March 23, 2014 2:20 PMReply

    All I have to say is most of you are lacking biblical study and up your bibles ,study and the study in Hebrew and Greek it may clear a few things up for you guys!

  • Jack | February 21, 2014 11:49 PMReply

    I'm pretty sure Moses didn't have a short hair cut though, these details matter when you are depicting a certain era, to me anyway, he looks like he just came out of the barber shop on main street LOL

  • Jack Wood | February 21, 2014 11:30 PMReply

    I am really looking forward to seeing another epic movie from Mr. Scott, as a student of the bible, this movie is one I can't wait to see

  • dr | January 27, 2014 10:39 AMReply

    Is not suppose to look egyptian. Moses was an Israelite.

  • Amy | January 20, 2014 8:34 AMReply

    i prefer stephen sommers for this movie & i prefer jim caviesel or hugh jackman for the role ....the look of bale in the movie is not an egyptian look his clothes like in kingdom of heaven.....

  • val | January 14, 2014 1:59 PMReply

    The woman of Rev 12 is not a church, nor Mary, nor Israel. She is the prophet like unto Moses Num 12:3 raised up of her brethren Acts 3:21-22 proving the power of God in the spirit of Elijah Matt 17:3, Luke 1:17 to restore Matt 17:11 the true word John 1:1 that prepares a people by turning their hearts to all the children of God. God our Father will not put any child of his into a hell fire no matter what their sins, no matter if they repent in this life or not. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer7:31, Jer 19:5. The proof is in the hearing. Resist your carnal mind of hate, murder and revenge Rom 8:7 to hear the true Gospel going to the world as a witness.
    Those that refuse to hear the true Gospel delivered to the world is rejecting his word not mine.
    *Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

    Satan has deceived the whole world into worshipping the god of hate, murder and revenge until the woman of Rev 12:5-6 delivers the true Gospel from the wilderness. Prove All things. A gift is now delivered and proven to the whole world as a witness Matt 24:14

  • MENTD | January 7, 2014 3:59 PMReply

    The Counselor was a masterpiece!
    I can't wait for the new 20 minutes longer director's cut Bluray!

    American audiences are stupid in general and have only the opinions they are programmed
    to have via the media which controls them. How could you expect an audience who
    consistently makes "American Idol" type shows #1 to understand a Ridley Scott film?
    It's a sad, sad time we live in. The constant bombardment of stupidity in the media
    has created legions of A.D.D. drones who simply can not focus on anything, let alone
    dialog in a complex, adult drama. Keep sitting your kids in front of Sponge Bob idiots.

  • Tom | February 24, 2014 8:44 PM


  • Conor | January 13, 2014 5:13 PM

    I would have to agree but allow me to expand. The counselor polarized critics the world round, not just state side. That being said it was a cerebrally challenging film, much like Prometheus, therefore not to be trusted in the hands of the average movie goer. I am of the opinion that the average person, anywhere, is a barely functioning idiot and the judgment of such works should be left to more intellectually-inclined minds.

  • walt kovacs | January 2, 2014 12:52 AMReply

    aaron paul shouldve been chosen to play moses

    i can see it now


  • Engineer | January 1, 2014 4:09 PMReply

    Sam Noah was NOT Jewish he was a Sumerian king named Ziusudra or in Akkadian tradition, Utnapishtim. He had dark skin he was a Sumerian king of Uruk.

  • Amira | March 26, 2014 4:40 AM

    This is true.

  • Leon | December 31, 2013 7:10 AMReply

    I just got back from Fuerteventure where they are filming Exodus, its the talk of the island. The news was if you showed up at the port of Rosario at 3am you could be picked as an extra. So there may still be time for you budding actors to get out there ;)

  • Sam | December 31, 2013 3:59 AMReply

    Many of the Egyptian Pharoahs (including Ramses II who is played by Edgerton here) had red hair and were known for their fair skin. There is a lot of disagreement on whether they all were white or some were black or a somewhere in between. Noah was Jewish, so yes he would have been white. Jews look virtually the same now as they have for thousands of years. We often take our modern understanding of how people in different cultures and regions look now and wrongly assume that that is how they looked thousands of years ago as well. There have been many migrations of people since then. Northern Africa used to be ruled by the Phoenicians who were white. Spain and France were ruled by the Celts (i.e. Scottish people), after the fall of Rome the Germans ruled Spain. Cleopatra was also white and was in fact half Greek.

  • Rick | January 24, 2014 8:38 AM

    I meant to respond to you Sam not the poster below.

    RICK | JANUARY 24, 2014 8:37 AM

    I understand Cleopatra being half greek, but this movie is depicted in a time when only darker hues would have existed. Have you seen what I think is the Spinx in this movie. It's a sculpture of a white man with European features. No matter what this will be a controversial film based on race.

  • SeeMe | December 31, 2013 2:22 AMReply

    Yawn deluxe--more "biblical" movie lies about whites being in Africa thousands of years ago. So, so desperate. It's satanic even.

  • Truth | July 9, 2014 2:56 AM

    None of them were white not Moses , Noah , the Jews of that time and especially cleopatra . All of the black.

  • | January 24, 2014 8:39 AM

    Seeme. You are right.

  • Rick | January 24, 2014 8:37 AM

    I understand Cleopatra being half greek, but this movie is depicted in a time when only darker hues would have existed. Have you seen what I think is the Spinx in this movie. It's a sculpture of a white man with European features. No matter what this will be a controversial film based on race.

  • Anunakin | December 30, 2013 11:30 PMReply

    Its 2013, and europeans trying to perpetuate the lie of the Biblical characters being white, especially the the Nile Valley Egyptians, is the most racially inaccurate depiction in movie history! I dont understand why white people insist on perpetuating this lie! We R assembling a team to protest this movie on every level. It's an insult to black people worldwide! We're tired of white people trying to steal our great history! White people werent even created in Genesis time! Thats real history!

  • Russel Peypers | January 14, 2014 1:40 PM

    While your comment about them not being white is obviously accurate, it may not be completely honest to 'chalk one up' for "black people worldwide" as you put it; most 'Egyptians', depending on the era, would have been much much lighter than the group I'm assuming you are referring to (black people worldwide). In fact there is some speculation that the Egyptians were actually close to being a distinct ethnicity in their own right. Furthermore, your whole complaint epitomizes the ignorant reactionary culture of today. The movie has white guys in it, because it's made for a largely white audience. It's not racist if a Japanese film studio wants to make a Japanese production of Macbeth with all Japanese actors- think about it. Exodus is an artistic DEPICTION of a biblical story that is meant for the consumption of the general public, which in this case appears to be predominantly white (mostly white viewers, in a majority white country). Since when has black culture, or nay any culture, demanded historical accuracy in their Hollywood films? Besides, let's say all of that is meaningless, the idea that white culture is fiendishly trying to claim a few very distant figures of Egyptian history is dubious. Don't flatter yourself with the idea that any white people even care what the hell race Moses or Ramses descended from. White people have contributed to the human species such that, collectively, the idea that they find a need to 'steal' other cultures historical figures is insane. I have my hands full even remembering all of the historical figures of European/Western culture, why would they need to steal someone else's? The only reason it appears that way to you is because of the historical painting of biblical ethnicities and the fact that you don't seem to understand that films are made FOR the viewer. Just remember, the average white person doesn't give a damn about Ramses ethnicity- they just want to see a movie in their language with actors that they like and are familiar with; it's no wonder they happen to be white in a majority white country.

  • Conor | January 13, 2014 5:00 PM

    There is no "genesis" time in real history. Modern man evolved in Africa some 250 thousand years ago. By the time the fiction of Moses was purported to have taken place white people had been in Europe for thousands of years you idiot. And how the holy hell is Moses, a Jew, "your" history? Guess what Jesus wasn't black either, no record of sub Saharan Africans in first century Roman Judeica. Get your history straight.

  • MistaTMason | December 30, 2013 10:31 PMReply

    Would it be more offensive if Christian Bale were wearing a fake beard and wig and spray tan to make him look more Middle Eastern, or just to leave him like this? Ooh, here's a good one: Would it be more offensive if he played Martin Luther King Jr. as just a white guy, like here, or would it be worse if he put on blackface?

  • Russel | January 14, 2014 1:52 PM

    I keep scanning this comment for a hint of sarcasm, because I cannot believe how stupid it is; I made a lengthy reply to someone else on the same topic (a few posts up) that I will repeat some of:
    -The movie has white guys in it, because it's made for a largely white audience. It's not racist if a Japanese film studio wants to make a Japanese production of Macbeth with all Japanese actors- think about it.
    - Exodus is an artistic DEPICTION of a biblical story that is meant for the consumption of the general public, which in this case appears to be predominantly white (mostly white viewers, in a majority white country).
    -Since when has culture demanded historical accuracy in their Hollywood films?
    -Don't flatter yourself with the idea that any white people even care what the hell race Moses or Ramses descended from.
    -Recap: The average white person doesn't give a damn about Ramses ethnicity- they just want to see a movie in their language with actors that they like and are familiar with; it's no wonder they happen to be white, in a majority white country.

    You exemplify the over-sensitivity and insecurity of our racism obsessed society. Get over your hang ups.

  • margaret | December 30, 2013 6:45 PMReply

    omg, is this real? oh, it is...

  • Bo | December 30, 2013 3:56 PMReply

    What is this nonsens bashing The Counselor? People keep getting on that bandwagon and it baffles me. Well, not really but I'm trying to be nice here. I loved The Counselor from beginning to end. What a wicked, dark sense of humor it had about the truth of the human condition and its propensity towards denial, greed, violence and deep dark ugliness in which we all reside. The horror...the horror! lol...sorry it frightened the folks, but truth is hard to swallow. Plus the remark below with regards to Kingdom of Heaven. Another very excellent film and most folks can't handle it because it too presented the truth of the history of all the madness in the Middle East what with the violence exhibited by the Christians during the Crusades; the battle over Jerusleum and the dignity and integrity of the Muslium/Arab leader; god forbid an Arab or Muslium could have dignity and integrity. People still want to live in their programmed fantasy lives that the media and the warped history presented to them and can't handle the truth or at least an alternative narrative of the Middle East. Wake up and grow up! This current film of Mr. Scott should be interesting in how he presents these mythological fantasies we've been spoon fed since the red sea actually parting...come on...or Moses watching God burn the big 10 into stone for him...Jeez, what children we are to believe these Santa Claus stories.

  • NU | January 2, 2014 2:23 AM

    Right on; The Counselor is brilliant.

  • Ur mom | December 30, 2013 4:40 PM

    Jeez, what children we are to believe your stupid opinions. The Counselor sucked. :P

  • LD | December 30, 2013 3:24 PMReply

    He isn't the Batman anymore.

  • BRUCE WAYNE | December 30, 2013 2:51 PMReply

    Well BATMAN, JESUS, MOSES all together. And only CHRISTIAN BALE can play them best because he was the best actor, he is the best actor and he will be the best actor.

  • yer | December 30, 2013 1:58 PMReply

    Another disaster like Kingdom of Heaven with a director's cut to follow that gets praise because it didn't suck as badly as the original?

  • Mark | December 30, 2013 5:32 PM

    Kingdom of Heaven Directors Cut is brilliant.

  • LD | December 30, 2013 11:45 AMReply

    Wait, so is he Jesus or is he Moses? Or is he all powerful?

  • Jack | February 21, 2014 11:35 PM

    Indeed it is, I have the collectors edition, Kingdom Of Heaven is a great movie

  • Laur | December 30, 2013 11:32 AMReply

    Oh awesome, look at that super white dude playing a historical Middle Eastern character.

  • Hidden Truth | June 1, 2014 4:27 AM

    The term "Middle East" was made up by a US Navy Admiral named Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1901.....that region you call "Middle East " is in fact east Africa.
    The first people to inhabit the area we call Israel and Palestine were the Canaanites ( black Africans).
    In ancient times the "so called Middle East" was Cushite territory and was called Cush, it was also called Ethiopia.That would make it east Africa. Real research tells us this.

  • Hidden Truth | June 1, 2014 1:12 AM

    There is no such place called "the Middle East " that is a made up term by a US Navy Admiral named Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1901.
    The region which we today call Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel and Palestine are all a part of the African continent and is east Africa.
    That land we know as Israel today was first inhabited by the Canaanites (black Africans) after the flood. In ancient times that land was known as Cushite territory and was called Cush and also Ethiopia. Real research tells us this.

  • Caro | December 30, 2013 5:25 PM

    since that Moses is a fictional character,even Kermit can play him

  • That Kid | December 30, 2013 3:38 PM

    Are we really asking for racial correctness? "Forget it, Laur. It's Hollywood."

  • Ryan Sartor | December 30, 2013 10:58 AMReply

    The Counselor looked like a sure thing given the cast, but whatever issues people might have with the movie is right there in the screenplay. Seems unfair to blame Scott--and I wouldn't, I really liked The Counselor. Though I realize that many didn't and the movie lost money.

  • kindred spirit | December 30, 2013 10:34 AMReply

    Nothing to say about the image... but can we talk more about Bale in HUSTLE? How is he not getting the same attention at JLaw? He's flippin' great in it! In fact, him and Adams are easily the best in show. I am a huge JLaw fan, but the critical acclaim for her performance is absurd. She has the worst possible Long Island accent (take notes from Ms. Margot Robbie in WOWS - you would never think she's Australian) and has 2 really good scenes but they are less about her performance, and more the dialogue ("why can't you be happy for me?" "I know who that is, Irv"). Bale should have been nominated by all the major precursors for his performance in Hustle, as should Adams. Hoping they both score Oscar nods.

  • James | December 30, 2013 9:52 AMReply

    Interesting that Moses is being played by "Christian" Bale. Not sure about shape shifting. He looks like Christian Bale on a horse and if you did not have the beginning of a pyramid in the background, I would not guess it is about Moses. But it continues the casting of Europeans to play people from the middle east (see the blued eyed blonde playing Jesus).

  • MistaTMason | December 30, 2013 10:26 PM

    @Sonny, regardless of his "feat", he should not have had the part to begin with. It would actually be better if they darkened his skin and put a wig on him (i.e. old Middle Eastern blackface). The well-kept beard and comb over make it look like Bruce absconded to Egypt.

  • Sonny | December 30, 2013 10:18 AM

    But when you take into consideration that Bale was still shooting American Hustle in mid-May this year and then had to loose the weight he gained for that for a mid-September start date on Exodus, it really is shape shifting. He only had four months to loose that extra weight. A remarkable feat IMO.

  • CB | December 30, 2013 9:39 AMReply

    Should be epic and well-done. Bale is quality.

  • Mtume | December 30, 2013 9:38 AMReply

    GREAT! White people playing people who in no possible way could have ever been white. Great stuff Hollywood, real progressive

  • I agree with Jack. | December 31, 2013 1:00 AM

    Like, for the new James Brown biopic, they should have considered white actors for the role, because if there is one thing that is wrong with Hollywood, is that there are NEVER any good roles for white men.

  • Jack | December 30, 2013 10:59 AM

    Toatally agree! We should stop people from getting the job they want based on the color of their skin!

  • jinx | December 30, 2013 9:32 AMReply

    This has epic written all over it.

  • nick | December 30, 2013 9:29 AMReply

    The Counselor is a masterpiece.

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