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

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 27, 2014 at 4:04PM

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.
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Exodus, Christian Bale

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.

Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott,
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott,
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott,
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott,
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott
Exodus, Bale, Ridley Scott
Exodus, Christian Bale, skip

This article is related to: Ridley Scott, Joel Edgerton, Exodus: Gods And Kings


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