(Photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson)
"Exodus," the Bible-based epic being directed by Ridley Scott and slated for a 2014 theatrical release, has added new stars to the cast, with "Alien" actress Sigourney Weaver being the latest addition.
It was reported by various sources late last week that Weaver, who worked with Scott on the 1979 cult classic "Alien," would be signing on to his latest production to portray Tuya, the mother of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses.
Although Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, and Signourney Weaver's roles are reportedly set, "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul was still said to be in negotiations for the role of Joshua. The same has been reported for Ben Kingsley, who portrayed the Hebrew hero Moses in a 1995 TV adaptation of the Old Testament tale — although he has been listed on the IMDB.com "Exodus" movie page as a cast member, latest reports indicate he may still be in negotiations.
Here is the latest breakdown of the main cast of characters, the actors portraying them (or rumored to be portraying them), and how the figures are presented in the Bible.
CHRISTIAN BALE - MOSES
According to the Biblical account, Moses, a Hebrew raised in the Egyptian household, initially encountered in perhaps one of the most well-known theophanies — the burning bush. God persuaded him to lead the enslaved Hebrews out of Egypt and into the "promised land" of Canaan. Moses, who is said to have stuttered or suffered from some sort of speech impediment, was equipped with a staff, spoke with God "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend," and received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
JOEL EDGERTON - PHARAOH RAMSES
While Ramses is not identified in the Bible as the pharaoh who Moses faced, extra-biblical accounts suggest that Ramses II ruled over Egypt during the 13th century BCE, the period suggested by some experts for when Moses might have lived. The Book of Exodus portrays the pharaoh as defiant to Moses's claims that God required the enslaved Hebrews to leave Egypt. The Book of Exodus indicates the pharaoh pursued the Hebrews as they left Egypt. Moses and the pharaoh have been portrayed in popular movie accounts as sibling rivalries.
3. SIGOURNEY WEAVER - TUYA
Tuya, not portrayed in Biblical accounts, is believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Seti I and mother of Ramses II. She has been portrayed in movies as the Egyptian woman of royalty who pulled baby Moses from the Nile River, while the Bible presents the Hebrew deliverer's foster mother as "the daughter of Pharaoh" who named him Moses (Exodus 10:1-10).
JOHN TURTURRO - SETI
Pharaoh Seti, like his son Pharaoh Ramses II, does not make any specific appearances in the Bible. He has been portrayed in some movie accounts of the Exodus as the pharaoh who Moses and Aaron faced in their demand that the Hebrew slaves be freed. In other accounts, Seti has been presented as Moses' foster father or uncle.
5. AARON PAUL - JOSHUA
Joshua, freed with the other Hebrews from Egyptian slavery, is presented in the Exodus narrative as one of Moses' primary assistants during their 40 years in the desert. The Book of Numbers indicates that it was Moses who renamed him Joshua (Yehoshua), although he was originally named Hoshea. Scripture says that after Moses' death, God spoke to Joshua and promised to lead him as He had led his predecessor. It was under Joshua's leadership that the Hebrews/Israelites routed the Canaanites and gained land, as recounted in the Book of Joshua.
BEN KINGSLEY - UNKNOWN
Kingsley's negotiations may remain ongoing, but he has been listed in the movie profile page for "Exodus" on IMDB.com, with his character currently unlisted. If Kingsley signs on to the Bible-based movie project, it is not unlikely that he may play Aaron, Moses' brother who is portrayed in the Book of Exodus as standing with him during his confrontations with the pharaoh. Kingsley, who has a penchant for Bible-based movies ("Mary Mother of Christ," "Noah," "Moses, "Joseph") could also, of course, be cast to portray any character noted in the Biblical account concerning Moses and the Exodus (such as Hur), or a historical figure not mentioned at all in the Old Testament story.
The screenplay for "Exodus" has been credited to Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Steven Zaillian. Michael Schaefer is listed as the executive producer, while Scott shares producer credit with Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, and Jenno Topping.
The historical drama is said to be in pre-production with a tentative release date of Dec. 12, 2014.