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Hollywood goes Biblical

Based on stories from the Bible, five big budget movies are currently in the making.

hollywood Updated: Jan 04, 2012 00:59 IST
Akshay Kapoor

Fans of classic Hollywood flicks might remember the grand chariot race in the epic 1959 film, Ben Hur, or the parting of the Red Sea by Moses in the 1956 film, the Ten Commandments. After these cinematic masterpieces, there were hardly any big budget movies based on Biblical themes, barring Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. But, all this is about to change with five films in production that are based on stories from the Bible. All the movies are reported to feature hi-tech special effects, strong scripts, and big stars. We tell you all about the biblical films to look forward to this year onwards.

Paradise Lost
Followers of English literature often cite John Milton’s epic 17th century poem, Paradise Lost, as one of the greatest literary works. Now, Legendary Pictures is adapting the poem, which tells about the fall of the angel, Lucifer, from heaven and the story of Adam and Eve, into a major action film. Actors Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker and Casey Affleck will play the role of Satan, the archangel Michael, and Gabriel respectively. The film will reportedly combine motion-capture performances, 3D visuals, and stylised CGI for the battles set in heaven, hell, and Eden. The film, which has Alex Proyas at the helm of affairs, will begin production this year.

Goliath
Whenever an underdog comes up trumps in any sport, the victory is often compared with the biblical story of David and Goliath, in which a young shepherd David single-handedly killed a giant warrior called Goliath. The tale is now being brought to the silver screen by Relativity and Temple Hill Entertainment, which are in talks with wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson to play the role of Goliath and Twilight actor Taylor Lautner to essay the role of David.

The film, which is going to be directed by Scott Derrickson, will re-fashion the story as a modernised adventure that resembles 300 and The Bourne Identity, in terms of tone and style.

Gods and Kings
What do you get when you have Steven Spielberg and a legendary biblical story? A potential blockbuster! The 64-year-old director is reportedly in negotiations with Warner Bros to helm Gods and Kings, which will bring to screen the epic story of the prophet Moses and his quest to free the Jewish people from the oppression of the Egyptian civilisation. It will also highlight Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from God and his journey spanning four decades wandering the desert in search of the Promised Land.

Noah
Paramount and New Regency is finalising a film based on Noah, a man who was commanded by God to build a gigantic ark to preserve each pair of Earth’s animals during an apocalyptic flood. Director Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan fame, will helm what’s being envisioned as a $130 million film. Actor Michael Fassbender is in talks to portray the titular character in the film, which will aim to retell the tale in a manner that remains true to the tone and nature of the original Bible story.

Legend of Cain
The biblical tale of Cain and Abel, who were the sons of Adam and Eve, features the first instance of murder in the Bible, when a jealous Cain murders his brother, Abel. Now, Men in Black 3 star Will Smith is attached to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, which will see a major twist in the original story. The film will reportedly have a new vampire take on the Biblical sibling rivalry story, with Smith playing the titular character of Cain. Smith has not made it clear whether he will be playing a vampire or fighting them in the film, but the movie is likely to be projected as a fast-paced action-fantasy flick.