Steven Spielberg exits Gods and Kings; Ang Lee may take over

moses
 

(AceShowbiz) Warner Bros. Pictures is reported reaching out to recent Oscars’ Best Director winner Ang Lee to direct a biblical epic based on the Moses story called “Gods and Kings”. The studio immediately sets eyes on the 58-year-old filmmaker after failing to seal a deal with Steven Spielberg.

Lee is said “intrigued” by the offer, but has not been invited to have formal meetings with the studio yet. If he accepts to direct the “Braveheart”-ish version of the Moses story, it will be another new genre for Lee, who is well-known as a genre-hopping filmmaker.

Penned by “Paradise Lost” scribe Stuart Hazeldine and “Green Lantern” screenwriter Michael Green, “Gods and Kings” is based on the Book of Exodus and other stories from the Old Testament. It follows the life of Moses from his birth to death. Dan Lin and Matti Lesham are on board to be the producers.

As reported earlier, Lee is now committed to make his TV directorial debut with the pilot for FX’s “Tyrant” from award-winning producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff. The project, which is written by Raff, marks the Taiwanese-born filmmaker’s first project after “Life of Pi”. Production on the pilot is scheduled to begin this summer in Morocco.

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26 Comments

  1. Christophe
    March 15, 2013

    I’m getting worried for Spielberg’s health, he’s been exiting/delaying several projects lately, first Robopocalypse, now Gods and Kings, I hope he’s all right, or maybe he just wants to focus entirely on his TV adaptation of Kubrick’s Napoleon, which is certainly a mammoth undertaking.

    On the other hand Ang Lee is jumping on every ship: Cleopatra, Tyrant, Gods and Kings, such a busy bee!

  2. murtaza
    March 15, 2013

    first it’ll be Aronofsky’s Noah then Lee’s Moses, has Hollywood run out of ideas or is it turning religious.
    Noah in my opinion won’t do good but Lee’s take on Moses might bring us an experience we might’ve never had, i’ll be interested if he goes with doing Cleopatra instead, i bet he’d do it in a sexy way.

  3. steve50
    March 15, 2013

    Not only that – I just read where he’s doing some work for cable TV

  4. Bryce Forestieri
    March 15, 2013

    I don’t revere Ang Lee as much as the majority of Awards Daily’s readers/commenters but this sounds mighty interesting. 2014 already has stuff I wish would just hurry the hell up and get here much sooner (NOAH, JUPITER ASCENDING, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2)

  5. Henry Z.
    March 15, 2013

    I really hope these biblical epics will fade – I mean, remember that’s what the French New Wave auteurs were strongly criticizing at. That Hollywood was so stuck in this Bloated Era of making giant-studio pictures turning underwhelming to general audiences.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m looking forward to more films that seem groundbreaking and visionary such as Gravity, or even Twelve Years a Slave.

  6. Bryce Forestieri
    March 15, 2013

    “I really hope these biblical epics will fade – I mean, remember that’s what the French New Wave auteurs were strongly criticizing at. That Hollywood was so stuck in this Bloated Era of making giant-studio pictures turning underwhelming to general audiences.
    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m looking forward to more films that seem groundbreaking and visionary such as Gravity, or even Twelve Years a Slave.”

    Wait what? Going back to LES CARABINIERS and especially LE PETIT SOLDAT. Don’t you think Godard would totally disregard something like 12 YEARS A SLAVE? Not that it means anything but just saying…

  7. Christophe
    March 15, 2013

    henry z,
    “I really hope these biblical epics will fade”

    so just bc you sir don’t like that kind of movies, others should be deprived of watching them? I don’t like gritty movies, pta, cohen brothers…, yet I would never dare say such movies should fade, bc i know there’s an audience for that and there’s no reason to deprive them of what they like. so i guess what we should ask of studios instead is to make diverse movies for diverse audiences. and btw I’m French yet I don’t give a damn abt the new wave.

  8. March 15, 2013

    I don’t see a problem with these biblical stories coming to the big screen, especially when their helmed by directors like Ang Lee. I’m currently taking a religion and politics course this semester, and we spent a lot of time discussing Moses, and who he was as a historical figure. His life really is a fascinating tale, and if they are taking this in a more gritty direction, I think it could really pay off.

  9. March 15, 2013

    Worried about US Senators and Connecticut congressman questioning the accuracy of this Moses story.

  10. immature
    March 15, 2013

    “Mr. Lee, you claim that Moses HAD to beat that Egyptian taskmaster to death to save that Hebrew slave. Have you proof?”

  11. Bryce Forestieri
    March 15, 2013

    “Mr. Lee, you claim that Moses HAD to beat that Egyptian taskmaster to death to save that Hebrew slave. Have you proof?”

    That’d be Paul Verhoeven’s version of GODS AND KINGS!

  12. Manuel
    March 15, 2013

    I prefer Ang Lee over Spielberg when it comes to the Moses story. Lee has the creativity to tell such famous and well known tale in a new way. The casting of Moses will be uber interesting. I hope that Lee says yes

    Aronofskys Noah is going to be dark, twisted and incredible!

  13. steve50
    March 15, 2013

    “Worried about US Senators and Connecticut congressman questioning the accuracy of this Moses story.”

    Such as:
    1. Was the use of plagues directly reponsible for the release of the Jews?
    2. Did access to records of the parting of the Red Sea at any time compromise security?

  14. Kevin Klawitter
    March 15, 2013

    In related news, Christian Bale is in talks to play Moses in “Exodus”, a competing biblical epic that Ridley Scott is developing and planning to start after he finishes “The Counselor”.

    It’s just fascinating how movies seem to come in twos. I like it, though. Differing perspectives on the same material is really, really interesting to me, especially when both movies are made by true artists.

  15. david
    March 15, 2013

    Ang Lee is overrated!!!!!!

  16. steve50
    March 15, 2013

    ^ If that was true, he’d have at least one Best Picture notched in his belt. He doesn’t; so he isn’t.

  17. Jpns Viewer
    March 15, 2013

    I am sure Michael Green is good in his own right and I am not making fun of him, but relatively speaking, with the Green Lantern scriptwriter on *no harsh feeling*, (this) Gods and Kings doesn’t sound as supposedly epic as an epic film and a hOpeful one *if you know what I mean for the latter* to me.

    They wanted Spielberg, which means in addition to bling bling they’ve got their hope set high as well at the end of a given year after this. But what’s more important to me is, Spielberg already OUT….

    [Spielberg OUT] Lee is great. And he’s proven it recently with Life of Pi. So, I am hoping he’s carefully factored in all variables before carrying on to the next step of negotiation. Spielberg’s refusal (?), I believe, happens for good reasons – that’s how I’ve read into it…. *perhaps too much(?)*

    To begin with, no-one wants to see Lee’s version of Waterworld or Ishtar, I mean….

    (I can handle both ways in case this one will turn into another pure-mainstream flick, not a hopeful one. Just hoping they could get right people for the right kind of the project they have had in mind.)

  18. March 15, 2013

    I hope this Moses news isn’t carved in stone. (har-har) Because I’d rather see Ang Lee direct Cleopatra.

  19. Jpns Viewer
    March 15, 2013

    “I hope this Moses news isn’t carved in stone. (har-har) Because I’d rather see Ang Lee direct Cleopatra.”

    I am not sure about the timeline of this project and Cleopatra, neither am I re Soderbergh’s Traffic, and Brockovich. That said, while Traffic and Brockovich might not be directed and taken under Soderbergh’s wings entirely simultaneously more or less, but if Soderbergh could do it and at the end of the day managed to create great films in both of them, (then) I don’t see why Lee won’t be able to make it happen regardless the size of both projects in talks *Gods and Kings, and Cleopatra* for the Taiwanese director…. Just saying. : ) *signed out*

  20. Mr. Pricklepants
    March 15, 2013

    That’s it. I’m remaking Ben-Hur! Fuck you, William Wyler!

  21. steve50
    March 15, 2013

    To paraphrase Tina Turner, “we don’t need another Mo-ses!”

    Yes, Cleopatra also been done about 12 times before, but not shown in any way outside of the standard male-centric prism. A story of a woman of considerable intelligence and power colliding with an expansionist paternal civilization could be fascinating.

    I know the FX possibilities that come with Moses are the golden calf for the box office, but the constraints on the story are so tight that we all know what happens, why it happens, and how it happens. One dare not stray from that road

    Another film about Moses would simply witness a familiar conflict, whereas a thoughtful film about Cleopatra could engage ideas of politics, imperialism, sexism, as well as describe a fabulous mental chess game between this woman and an empire. Throw in a hunky M. Antony and I’ll buy my ticket right now.

  22. SeattleMoviegoer
    March 15, 2013

    oh great. Christian Bale as Moses. Will his voice drop to raspy, low-croaking Batman voice once he is transfigured after talking to the burning bush? the mind reels! but CLEOPATRA is intriguing. i still love Mankiewicz’ version for it’s opulence and Liz and Rex. love HBO’s version in ROME. they would have to come up with a truly novel way of presenting the love triangle of all time on the big screen. Ang could do it. maybe Spielberg isn’t so much ill as just plain pooped. his output in recent years would kill off a man half his age.

  23. Christophe
    March 16, 2013

    mr. pricklepants,

    you’re two months late, it’s already in the works:

    http://m.deadline.com/2013/01/new-ben-hur-movie-remake-reboot-mgm-lew-wallace-novel/

  24. The Dude
    March 16, 2013

    Meh, the only religious project I’m interested in is Djesus Uncrossed.

  25. keifer
    March 16, 2013

    “Worried about US Senators and Connecticut congressman questioning the accuracy of this Moses story.”

    Ryan, you crack me up!

    I, too, have been gravely concerned whether Moses will have to show his birth certificate before he’s allowed to see the burning bush in this movie. Or that that Tower of Babel production designer has gone too far in his depiction of penis envy.

    LET MY PEOPLE GO! Indeed.

  26. Odee
    April 12, 2013

    Ang Lee is a superb director, who, if based on creativity, should have four Oscars by now:

    - Brokeback Mountain
    - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    - Lust, Caution
    - Life Of Pi

    All thoroughly original and unlike any of his other films, and let’s not forget that he also made The Ice Storm, and Sense and Sensibility, and none of those six films “feel” as if they were made by the same director. His range more than justifies his praise. I’m a bit fan of Steven but his range does not match that of Ang Lee, under any circumstances.

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