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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Hollywood's new bulked-up superhero is ... Moses

If you were ever looking for a deeply influential signal of where Hollywood is going with its movie tentpole priorities, look no further than this morning's story in Variety about ex-News Corp chief Peter Chernin's first significant film project acquisition. It's not a "Ten Commandments"-style religious drama, it's not a teen comedy, it's not a Marvel comic (because they're all already being made at every studio in town).

Peterchernin It's the story of Moses, but told in the action-packed super-realistic effects style of "300," with Moses as the original obstacle-overcoming superhero, cleverly avoiding death as a tiny infant, boldly defying the tyrannical pharaoh, ingeniously surviving a plague of locusts and adroitly delivering the Hebrews from cruel enslavement.

Variety says that in addition to the popular mythical elements from the book of Exodus, the movie will draw on new elements of Moses' life culled from the rabbinical midrash and other historical sources, which is surely, if nothing else, the first time we've seen the rabbinical midrash and "300" used in the same Hollywood announcement story. (If Chernin is willing to expand Moses' historical turf in the interests of modern obstacle-hurdling storytelling, maybe Moses can also knock out an Iranian nuclear reactor in the third act.)

The clearest sign of where the movie is going comes from the screenwriters hired to pen the script. In the old days -- meaning if this were 2005 -- Chernin and his producing partner, Dylan Clark, would have hired the likes to Gary Ross or Steve Zaillian to write a big, emotionally sweeping version of Moses' life. Instead, the gig is going to Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, best known for writing "Accepted," a fluffy 2006 teen comedy about a scrum of college rejects who create a phony university to fool their parents into thinking they actually are attending college.

The writer duo have become the go-to guys for what Variety calls the "tentpole re-tellings of classics," having also been at work reinventing "Moby-Dick" as a graphic-novel style special effects thriller at Universal. No casting has been announced, but I'm thinking that Moses could be a perfect part for Adrien Brody, who's already bulking up to play a heroic mercenary in "Predators," Fox's new reboot of the "Predator" franchise. But "Moses" is no joke. It's what Hollywood is spending most of its creative energy on these days, taking a familiar character and re-branding him as an action figure whose heroics will appeal to audiences all around the globe.  

Photo: Peter Chernin. Credit: Scott Eells / Bloomberg News

Comments () | Archives (11)

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I have faith that this one will turn out to be a failure of biblical proportions.

Unless the Christians dig it, then it's gonna be HUGE!

why can't Hollywood stop trying to shove their political and religious views down out throats. Stop mocking religion and do what you do best, make pathetic movies.

Will Obama get a speaking part?

The Moses plotline is terrific because it's not just about "then" -- it's about "now" as well.

The murderous forced conversion of polytheists at Mount Sinai will totally resonate with Americans fed up with their country being taking over by idol-worshiping Buddhist and Hindu immigrants from Asia.

The call to stone homosexuals to death will totally resonate with Americans fed up with homosexual perverts taking over our institutions and culture.

And the series of war crimes against the Egyptian civilian population may even get the Dick Cheney crowd -- not known for their admiration of Hollywood's typically liberal political views -- into the theaters. In fact, after Moses slaughters all the first-born children, have him threaten to slaughter the SECOND-BORN children as well, AND begin aerial bombing, unless Pharoah signs all rights to the pyramids over to Moses' corporate cronies.

This sounds very creative and it's a tough project to think about as a producer and director, however, I totally see how it can be a great epic movie.

Love it!

It is stated very clearly that Moses had a serious speech impediment, which is why his brother Aaron was the mouthpiece for the outfit.

If you put in the encounter with Pharaoh and everything thereafter until he died, you are obligated to make Moses almost impossible to understand when he speaks.

Sorry, it comes with the territory.

@John that was prob. funnier and more entertaining than this piece of crap will be. And I have to say '300' was probably the lamest film ever to grace the screen. I am so glad I didn't pay my hard-earned $ to see it.

Please make MOSES good. talk to some pastors especially BISHOP GERALD O. GLENN at NDEC.NET (New Deliverence Evangelistic Church Phone: 1-804-276-0791) about Moses. Hollywood needs to become more SPIRITUAL in its BIBLE adaptations.

and remember The Hebrews Jewish wrote most of THE HOLY BIBLE; so its not uncool to "Talk Bible" to Hollywood . . . Jesus himself is included in Hebrew lineage tracible to KING DAVID and Jesus is reffered to as Rabbi . . .
it is NOT UNCLOOL to "discuss Bible" in Hollywood.

Hire the makers of The Saw films to create the killings of the firstborn sons. Make it as gory as possible.

RE:why can't Hollywood stop trying to shove their political and religious views down out throats

You must be a republican. republicans want everyone to sit down and shut up about their polictical views unless its Limbaugh or Glen Beck doing the talking.

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