Cast: Aaron Paul, Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Ridley Scott
From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus) comes the epic adventure EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
The film's intrigue, scale, scope, adventurer and vivid characters provide a unique theatrical event. The Exodus from Egypt is the original and definitive heroic saga. It's also a powerful and personal story rich with emotion, rivalry and betrayal and an undying quest for freedom.
Notes Scott: 'Moses' life is one of the greatest adventures and spiritual quests of all time." From its opening battle where 15,000 Egyptian soldiers attack a Hittite encampment, to the towering structures, a terrifying series of plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea, Scott brings his signature vision to one of our most cherished and important stories.
'I love anything larger-than-life," he continues. 'I knew what to do with Gladiator – how to make it really breathe, live and feel like people did in that era. With EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, I wanted to similarly bring to life the Egyptian culture and the Exodus in a way never before possible."
EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS was shot in Pinewood Studios, London and on location in Almeria, Southern Spain and Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands.
Exodus: Gods & Kings is out on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD.
Blu-Ray RRP: $35.50
The cast of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is comprised of numerous award winners, and hails from a wide range of countries. As Ridley Scott explains, 'Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast 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 many discussions about how to best represent the culture. In bringing to life a story that has roots in many religions and is important to people across the world, we also looked to cast actors who could, through their vivid performances, do justice to a universal story."
Christian Bale stars as Moses, alongside Joel Edgerton as Ramses, John Turturro as Seti, Ben Kingsley as Nun, and Aaron Paul as Joshua.
Christian Bale is an actor with whom Scott has long sought to collaborate. 'Christian has a very powerful physical presence on screen," he notes. Before shooting EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, Bale had starred in the Scott Free production Out of the Furnace, playing a steel worker. To Scott, that role, in a way, presaged the actor's turn as the Hebrew prophet and liberator. 'Moses is much more like a steel worker than a Pharaoh – he's a modest man with common sense."
Scott describes Bale's performance as 'an inside job. He gets right into the character and you are staring at a passionate leader. I enjoyed working with Christian as much as I have with anyone; he surprised me every day. I expected a lot, and I got more."
There was certainly much to explore with the character. 'Moses is an iconic figure who at the same time has to be played as a real person," says Scott. 'He's the film's heroic center and its emotional core."
Bale took on the role for several reasons. He explains: 'I feel the Exodus story is not only one of the cornerstones of many of the world's sacred texts, but it is one of the most profound narratives in human history. I found that Moses was a complex and reluctant hero. Through his faith he transformed into a freedom fighter who would stop at nothing to further God's will. That said, he was also a man of contradictions: He was faithful but also argumentative; hesitant but also assertive; a warrior but also a liberator; and he was tempestuous but stoic."
In short, adds the actor, 'Moses is one of the most fascinating characters I've ever studied." To that end, Bale read the holy texts, including the Torah and parts of the Koran, as well as the acclaimed book Moses: A Life by Jonathan Kirsch. He also watched two films whose approach to history and religion is very different from EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS'. 'To get a humorous perspective before tackling this epic film I watched the comedies History of the World, Part I [directed by Mel Brooks] and the Monty Python classic The Life of Brian."
The central relationship of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is between Moses and Ramses, who grew up as brothers. Ramses becomes Pharaoh and Moses his most trusted advisor and second in command. But when Ramses learns that Moses is actually a Hebrew, he expels his 'brother" into the desert and to an almost certain death.
'Ramses personifies how absolute power corrupts absolutely," says Joel Edgerton who takes on the role. 'Ramses starts to believe he actually is a god, which creates a wonderful dynamic between Moses and him."
Ramses is the story's principal antagonist, but Scott and Edgerton wanted to give the character nuances and complexities that transcend stock villainy. 'Ramses has a strong , brotherly connection to Moses, so he's very conflicted when Moses is revealed to be a Hebrew. He also loves his wife Nefertari, and his young son, so that gives him important emotional shadings," says the director.
Scott first encountered Edgerton years earlier, while casting his Crusades epic, Kingdom of Heaven. The actor was deemed too young for the role then, but Scott continued to follow Edgerton's career, particularly his work in the acclaimed independent drama Animal Kingdom. 'Joel has flair, and he's athletic, brooding, intellectual and very warm as well. He transposed himself elegantly into the demeanor of an Ancient Egyptian, acknowledging the period, without it feeling like -period.' Ramses is a bad guy, with good emotional parts to his character, so that you are not sure whether to hate him or not. Joel is also very physical, so he provides a real sense of action and fury when needed."
Bale hails Edgerton's 'tremendous commitment to the role. I felt he had one of the most difficult parts in the film. Joel captures all the arrogance of someone with limitless power, and all the insecurities of someone desperately trying to hold onto his position."
Edgerton relished the role, especially its complexities. 'The most fascinating villain is someone who, in their own movie, would be the hero," he explains. 'I always feel if you can understand the bad guy, you can cheer for the hero even more. So I wanted to find that balance between doing my job as the villain of the piece, but give him humanity. Amidst all the epic scenes of warfare, the big conflict here is the battle of wills between Ramses and Moses."
Edgerton admits that Ramses has a huge ego, as expected from someone brought up to believe he is a living god. 'He is unreasonable and lacks empathy," says the actor. 'Ramses is a tyrant and a dictator, but that was part of the beliefs of the times."
Ramses begins to build his own city, Pi Ramses, and adorns it with his likeness, as was the custom of the times. A huge statue head of Ramses – built by the production and modeled after Edgerton, himself – watches over the fields where the slaves work. At fifty feet high, the statue became something of a local landmark for the duration of the shoot.
Sigourney Weaver is Tuya, mother of Ramses, first wife of Pharaoh Seti. Star of the director's seminal film, Alien, Weaver later worked with Scott on the historical epic 1492: Conquest of Paradise. She says of reuniting with Scott: 'It feels like no time has passed at all. I still see this brilliant man, in command of how to make his vision on screen."
Of her role, Weaver notes that, 'It's been hard for Tuya to watch Moses be Pharoah Seti's favorite," Weaver continues. 'Ridley refers to her as a panther, and although Tuya could be viewed as evil, to me she is a very good mother. Tuya knows how much support Ramses needs, even though he won't admit it. Ramses loves Moses and struggles to do the right thing by him, but he and Tuya are unnerved by Moses' closeness with Pharaoh Seti. People may see Tuya as a bit of a villain but she is not. She is protecting her son."
Tuya's strength and force of will reflect the empowerment of Egyptian women of that period. 'They were really into power and beauty," says costume designer Janty Yates. 'Ridley wanted Tuya to be totally -va-va-va-voom.' Tuya's costumes underscore her bold ambitions for her son. We reflected that in her headdresses and over the top jewelry."
John Turturro portrays Tuya's husband, Seti – ruler of Egypt, father to Ramses and father figure to his nephew Moses. 'Seti has held power for too long, and that's a burden for him," says the acclaimed actor. 'He has a closer relationship with Moses than with his own son, Ramses, and he would have preferred that Moses take his place as Pharoah, but Seti knows this cannot happen."
Ben Kingsley is Nun, a Hebrew scholar and spiritual leader of the slaves. Says Scott: 'Nun unmasks Moses with the truth, and starts the chain of events that leads to his exile."
Scott feels lucky to cast Kingsley, who several years ago played Moses in a television miniseries. 'Ben is a chameleon, clever and adept. There is an iron-cast center to him that was perfect for the role."
Aaron Paul's role in the landmark television series Breaking Bad earned him legions of fans, and a Primetime Emmy® Award. As the show reached its conclusion after six seasons, he was approached to play Joshua, a Hebrew slave who helps Moses lead the Hebrews out of Egypt.
Scott, who is a Breaking Bad fan, met Paul for the first time when the actor flew from Los Angeles to London for 24 hours of hair and makeup tests – before flying back overnight to attend the Emmy Awards. 'Ridley has so much energy and he believes the story he is telling in all his movies," says Paul. 'That's what makes him such a powerful director; you listen to him talk and these worlds exist, whether it's Alien, Blade Runner or EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS."
Joshua is first seen as a young slave, being punished in the brutal environs of the Egyptian brickworks. Years later, Joshua is among the first to join the guerilla band formed by Moses when he returns to try to free the slaves. 'Joshua has been brutalized for many years; that's his place in the pecking order in Egyptian society, so he is ready to join Moses and fight for freedom." Having no real weapons, Moses' band of fighters relies on bow and arrow for attack. Paul had archery and riding lessons to prepare for the shoot.
'Aaron brings a freshness to the role of Joshua," Scott notes, 'and he just slipped into character and into the period seamlessly. '
PLAGUES AND THE PARTING OF A SEA
When Ramses rejects Moses' pleas to let the prophet's people go, Egypt is hit by a series of plagues and pestilences. Ramses' advisors offer science-based explanations for the phenomena –spectacles that are both thrilling and horrifying.
The first of ten plague comes after crocodiles in the Nile begin attacking each other, along with several seafaring Egyptians, in a vicious feeding frenzy. The bloody, roiling water turns the Nile red, leading to a carpet of dead, oxygen-deprived fish floating atop the surface. Frogs swarm over the city of Pi-Ramses, and even into Ramses' palace, searching for food.
Four hundred frogs were called to set, with six frog handlers, a frog handler dog and a one meter high frog fence. In this scene, Golshifteh Farahani, playing Nefertari, showed her bravery over several takes by pretending to be asleep, knowing that a large bag of live frogs was being emptied over her head, and becoming entangled in her long hair.
After the amphibians die, flies swarm from their rotting, maggot-filled bodies, and the streets of the city Ramses has built in tribute to himself becomes invisible through a black curtain of flies. Says visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang: 'We took the plagues to a new and different kind of level. The flies become very distinctive and thick in their movements, and [the subsequent invasion of] locusts become even more troubling in the way they move and swarm."
Next, lesions and boils mar the bodies of almost all Egyptians. Night brings hailstones the size of rocks, followed by a massive swarm of locusts.
Laws of nature, taken to their extreme – and perhaps with divine intervention – can explain these plagues, but the final scourge transcends nature: The firstborn sons of Egypt are killed overnight, including the Pharaoh's own child. When Ramses realizes that no Hebrew slave children have died, he orders them to leave Egypt – but shortly thereafter leads his army to pursue and kill the fleeing Hebrews.
Moses and his ill-equipped band of 400,000 followers, loaded down with whatever meager household goods they could carry, struggle to cross the foreboding mountains, heading for the Red Sea and to a crossing area that Moses had used before.
Arriving at the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army close behind, Moses realizes he has taken the wrong route and missed the shallow waters. Faced with the massive body of water on one side, and the thousands of Egyptian troops on the other, Moses despairs. As Ramses prepares for his final assault, Moses realizes that the tide is receding at a rapid pace. He rallies his people and they begin to stumble through the shallows. When the Hebrews complete the crossing, Ramses' pursuing troops are engulfed by a massive wave.
DESIGNING AND BUILDING A WORLD
Scott's creative collaborators on EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS include two-time Oscar-nominee production designer Arthur Max and Academy Award® winning costume designer Janty Yates, each of whom has worked on nine previous Scott-directed films, including Gladiator and Prometheus. 'The idea of building a universe is always appealing," says Scott. 'What's so attractive about world-building on film is that anything goes, as long as it is real. I'm an architect at heart, and so is Arthur Max."
Max says EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is the biggest production he has ever worked on. 'The scale is epic, because that's what Ancient Egypt was, and we wanted to do it justice." he explains. 'Of course, it's never big enough for Ridley, which is why we have visual effects."
The production design and visual effects teams – the latter created over 1500 VFX shots – worked together to create the film's enormous sets and action sequences. For example, the Statue of Ramses rises 200 feet, 30 of which the production built; the rest was computer generated. 'When you pan down from the sky to the statue, you'll see the digital extensions on top gradually joining up with the practical version on the ground," Scott explains. 'It's seamless."
Visual effects supervisor Peter Chiang elaborates: 'The visual effects are grounded in reality. Arthur and Ridley designed amazing and expansive sets that provided a brilliant springboard for the VFX. It was good to see real lighting on an actual set, which would ultimately inform the look of our CGI."
The art and construction crew numbered over one thousand, working in three locations. The Pinewood stages housed the interiors of the lush palaces and temples of the Egyptian royalty, as well as the sparse slave hovels. The huge exterior of Pharaoh's Great Hall was filmed on the mammoth backlot, where scenes were captured of the Egyptian army setting off to fight the Hittites, and later, during their bloodied but triumphant return. The stage's paddock tank was transformed into the River Nile, turning red as fierce crocodiles cannibalize each other. Scenes of the Red Sea turning into a massive parting of the sea, drowning hundreds of Egyptian soldiers, were filmed in the underwater tank.
The production used a pulley system devised on Gladiator to quickly arrange huge statues, columns and pieces of walls, leading Scott to call it a giant LEGO-like set.
After completing work at Pinewood, the production moved to Almeria in Southern Spain, taking over a large plain in Alhamilla, in the shadow of the Sierra Madre Mountains. This dry desert area was also used in several of the Westerns directed by Sergio Leone, as well as in the landmark Lawrence of Arabia and in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
'Working in Alhamilla is like having your own huge back lot." says Max. 'The area is bigger than the 20th Century Fox back lot in California." On a plain measuring 1 by 1.5 kilometers, the central line is an avenue of palm trees. Many of these were already in place, but the production replaced those that were diseased, and all the trees needed nurturing and augmenting. The production also installed a water tank, and built the exteriors of Egyptian palaces and villas, and a street of ordinary Egyptian homes and merchants. The city of Pi Ramses and the surrounding slave ghetto were united by the avenue of palms. In addition, the brickworks supplying the new city were a short distance away.
The Battle of Kadesh, in which Ramses and Moses lead the Egyptians to victory over the Hittites, took place nearby. The actual battle was hailed as the biggest military action ever fought, with thousands of soldiers and hundreds of chariots fighting in the blazing sun.
The sequence was shot over five days, with hundreds of extras, stuntmen, animals and chariots on set, alongside five cameras and two crews – interrupted only by a huge storm which swamped the area in water, cutting of many of the crew from the road, and which the local media called 'biblical" in its scale.
A few days later, following a sunset so spectacular that it was filmed for inclusion in the movie, a sandstorm blew up on the plain of Alhamilla, damaging sets and blinding cast, crew and extras.
Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, was another key location. Wide empty sandy beaches, fringing high volcanic rock mountains made the island the perfect location for the Hebrew flight from Egypt in the Sinai desert. 'Parts of Fuerteventura are almost prehistoric looking; they're untouched," says Bale. 'It's one of the most stunning locations I've ever seen."
High in the mountains is the mining town of Macael, from which marble has been extracted since the time of the Phoenicians. The marble quarry appears as a slave workplace, where Moses first encounters Nun. Moses passes through again, on his way to confront Ramses with his request to free the slaves. Traveling by night, he observes the slaves, driven by cruel masters, toiling by torchlight, and hauling huge blocks of marble up mountains.
In addition to finding and building locations, Max and his team took on the enormous task of furnishing and decorating the spaces. 'You can't buy anything Ancient Egyptian, so every single item and embellishment had to be designed and made." he explains. Referencing materials in the British Museum and the Museum of Cairo, Max used a mixture of old techniques and modern technology.
The palaces were furnished with thrones and chairs, based on ancient frescoes. The production built statues from modern lightweight materials for ease of moving, but finished and aged them using ancient techniques.
The design team consulted experts in the fields of hieroglyphics, language and ritual behavior, and looked at Victorian era romantic painters of England and France, who brought intimate scenes to life. 'The film reflects an eclectic mixture of influences, which we think will maximize the grandeur that was Ancient Egypt, alongside the suffering and deprivation that accompanies slavery," says Max.
Max describes Scott's exacting working methods with his creative department heads. 'We sit round a table and go through the script page by page, using visual references. When we visit locations, different ideas are thrown up, and also come from the work of other departments. Ridley always surprises us by taking a direction none of us have thought of. The characters and their environment, and how they interact, come from his mind; it's his vision of their world. Ridley draws beautifully, so you have to keep track of whatever he has just produced, which is sometimes on the back of somebody's script. If you have a good idea, he makes it better. And he finds the best position on any set, sometimes an angle nobody else has thought of. As well as being an artist, he is a cameraman and a very quick study in modern technology, grasping what's going on, and how he can use it.
'It's like working for a Renaissance Master; we are his pupils, implementing his vision of how he wants it to be seen on screen," says the production designer.
Janty Yates won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Costume Design for her work on Gladiator, and has collaborated with Scott on six other features. She views this collaboration as the ultimate challenge. 'Ridley is a painter, and he is an inspiration. Watching him set up a shot, no detail escapes him. It's exciting to experience because you know every frame is going to be special."
The basis of Yates' design is research and, as she points out, she was lucky that so much reference is available, recorded in the art of Ancient Egypt, on walls and statues. 'For Gladiator, nothing much was available online, so a lot of time was spent wandering around Rome, looking at statues for guidance."
For Yates, her most exciting discovery during her prep work was how advanced the Egyptians were in fashion and design. 'The jewelry in particular is made with such craftsmanship, so detailed and delicate," she says.
The scope of the film is enormous and Yates and her associate costume designer, Stefano de Nardis, set up a factory in Ouarzazate in the Moroccan desert, bringing together cutters, seamstresses, embroiderers, metal workers, shoemakers and jewelers to create the costumes for the Egyptians, the army, the Hittites, the palace guards and some of the specially featured players. Each of the twenty principal cast members had many elaborate costumes, with multiple details, and often had to have eight or nine repeats of one costume, so Yates additionally set up a huge organization of dyers, cutters, and other specialists, in London.
Dressing Moses was the most complicated undertaking. "He has several looks," Yates explains. 'In the first one, Moses is a young prince of Egypt, loved by Seti, close to his cousin Ramses and distrusted by Tuya. Ridley wanted him to be discreet, in this court of flamboyance. He is primarily a military man, so he has sober tones, neat clothes, and is almost clean cut, with short-ish hair."
In the second act, wandering in the desert, he looks like a vagabond, and after being attacked by some tribesmen, he wears their clothes. When he meets his future wife Zipporah and settles down, he is a shepherd, in the countryside. Then when he decides to return to Egypt to confront Ramses, he is the guerrilla warrior, living in the mountains with his posse and eventually leading his people to freedom."
While acknowledging the challenges of dressing the ever-evolving Moses, Yates notes that her favorite creations are the outrageous costumes worn by Ramses. 'In a sea of Hittites, or in amongst some rather grubby Egyptian soldiers, Ramses' gold outfit and armor have that -wow' factor. And Joel wears it so well. Every time I dressed him, I just fell in love with the look."
As Scott puts it, Ramses wears a lot of bling. Edgerton quickly became accustomed to his character's preference for gold and was heard to joke, 'I'm not having that …unless it's gold," or 'bring me my gold skirt - the number seventy six."
Says Yates: 'Ramses was arrogant, erecting more statues to himself than any other Pharaoh, so everything he has reflects that personality. It literally reflects, in that it is all gold, including jewels, helmet and clothes. Seti is gilded but not flamboyant like his son, while Tuya is both flamboyant and sexy. Tuya expects to be Queen of the country when Ramses takes over, so she is gearing herself up for that role in the public eye."
Zipporah, whom Moses marries in a village far from Egypt, is, says Yates, 'young, fresh, beautiful and modern, so her clothes reflect that; she is a working tribeswoman."
Zipporah, portrayed by Maria Valverde, is a physically striking character, thanks in part to makeup department head Tina Earnshaw, an Oscar winner for her work on Titanic and who collaborated with Scott on Prometheus and The Counselor. Earnshaw gives Zipporah black coal for her eyes, facial tribal tattoos and Henna tattoos on her hands, arms, feet and legs. 'She just looks beautiful at all times," says Earnshaw.
Every costume, prop, design, structure and visual effect speaks to the film's epic scale. But as Ridley Scott notes, the sensibilities of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS are always grounded. 'Moses grew up as an important Egyptian noble –a Prince of Egypt –with some very real human insecurities and questions."
For Christian Bale, portraying Moses was an unforgettable experience. 'He's such an intoxicating character to play, that in many ways I felt like, -Wow, can't we keep going?' There is so much more to tell about him, and he's even more fascinating than anything I had realized."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
RIDLEY SCOTT (Director, Producer) has been honored with Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his work on Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, and Thelma & Louise. All three films also earned him DGA Award nominations. Scott's most recent directorial credits include the hit Prometheus starring Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron and the acclaimed The Counselor, written by Cormac McCarthy and starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, and Javier Bardem.
Next up for Scott is The Martian, starring Matt Damon.
Scott has garnered multiple award nominations over his illustrious career. In addition to his Academy Award and DGA nominations, he also earned a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Director for American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. He also served as a producer on the true-life drama receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Film. Scott also received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Director for his epic Gladiator. The film won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA awards for Best Picture.
In 1977, Scott made his feature film directorial debut with The Duellists, for which he won the Best First Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed with the blockbuster science-fiction thriller Alien, which catapulted Sigourney Weaver to stardom and launched a successful franchise. In 1982, Scott directed the landmark film Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford. Considered a science-fiction classic, the futuristic thriller was added to the U.S. Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 1993, and a director's cut of Blade Runner was released to renewed acclaim in 1993 and again in 2007.
Scott's additional film directing credits include Legend, starring Tom Cruise; Someone to Watch Over Me; Black Rain, starring Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia; 1492: Conquest of Paradise; White Squall, starring Jeff Bridges; G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen; Hannibal, starring Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore; Body of Lies, starring Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio; A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe and Albert Finney; the epic Kingdom of Heaven, with Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Irons; and Matchstick Men, starring Nicolas Cage and Sam Rockwell. Scott's hit version of the timeless tale of Robin Hood marked his fifth collaboration with star Russell Crowe, also starring Cate Blanchett.
Ridley and his brother Tony formed commercial and advertising production company RSA in 1967. RSA has an established reputation for creating innovating and groundbreaking commercials for some of the world's most recognized corporate brands. In 1995, Ridley and Tony formed the film and television production company Scott Free. With offices in Los Angeles and London, the Scott's have produced such films as In Her Shoes, The A-Team, Cyrus, The Grey, and the Academy Award-nominated The Assassination of Jesse James.
In television, they also executive produce the Emmy®, Peabody, and Golden Globe® winning hit TV show The Good Wife for CBS, as well as the hit long-running series, Numbers, which ran for six seasons also on CBS. In addition, Ridley and Tony also served as executive producers on the company's long-form projects including the Starz miniseries The Pillars of The Earth; the A&E miniseries The Andromeda Strain, based on the book by Michael Crichton; the TNT miniseries The Company; and the award-winning HBO movies RKO 281, The Gathering Storm, and Into the Storm.
In 2003, Scott was awarded a knighthood from the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the arts.
ADAM COOPER & BILL COLLAGE (Writers) are scriptwriting partners whose projects include The General, about George Washington, to be directed by Darren Aronofsky, and an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Devil In the Grove by Gilbert King, about the false accusation of rape prosecuted against four young black men in Florida in 1949, for producer Allison Shearmur. Shake, an earthquake film, will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
They have written scripts for New York Minute, directed by Dennie Gordon and starring the Olsen Twins, the comedy Accepted, starring Jonah Hill and Blake Lively, directed by Steve Pink, and Brett Ratner's Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
JEFFREY CAINE (Writer) was born in London and educated at the Universities of Sussex and Leeds. He taught English in schools and colleges for three years before becoming a professional writer.
Married in 1969 and widowed in 1995, he has two daughters and three grandchildren.
After writing mainly for British television between 1986 and 1992, during which Caine's own series The Chief ran for five seasons, he has concentrated in recent years on screenplays.
Caine's previously produced screenplays are Goldeneye (1995), Inside I'm Dancing (a.k.a. Rory O'Shea Was Here) (2004) and The Constant Gardener (2005). Inside I'm Dancing won an IFTA Script Award in 2004; The Constant Gardener was nominated for Academy, BAFTA and Writers' Guild of America Awards.
STEVEN ZAILLIAN (Writer) is a writer, director and producer. He was the winner of the 1994. Academy Award for Best Screenplay, based on material previously published, for Schindler's List, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film won an additional six Oscars, plus numerous other awards for his screenplay, including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
He has also garnered Academy Award nominations for his scripts for Awakenings (1991), Gangs of New York (2003) and Moneyball (2012).
In 2008, his script for American Gangster, directed by Ridley Scott, was nominated for the BAFTA. Other recent credits include blockbusters Mission: Impossible and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
He wrote and directed All the Kings Men, starring Sean Penn and Kate Winslet, and A Civil Action, starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall. Duvall was nominated for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor, and won the Screen Actors Guild Award® for his performance. Zaillian wrote and directed Searching for Bobby Fischer, which garnered an Academy Award nomination for cinematographer Conrad L Hall, while Zaillian won a Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo Film Festival and was nominated for the Humanitas Award.
PETER CHERNIN, p.g.a. (Producer) is the Chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group (TCG). Through Chernin Entertainment, TCG's entertainment production company, Chernin serves as an executive producer on FOX's hit television comedy New Girl. His previous executive producing credits include FOX's Ben and Kate and Touch.
Chernin Entertainment's first feature film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, opened in 2011 to widespread critical praise and re-launched the franchise for a new generation. Since then, Chernin has produced several box office hits including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the successful sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Oblivion; The Drop, the crime drama starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini in his final screen appearance; the dramedy St. Vincent starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy; and The Heat, the 2013 hit comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Chernin also produced Spy, the Paul Feig-directed comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, currently in post-production.
TCG's assets also include a slate of strategic investments in a range of media and digital media companies, including CA Media; Otter Media, a venture co-owned with AT&T which holds majority stakes in Fullscreen and Crunchyroll; and a number of U.S.-based technology companies including Pandora, SoundCloud, Flipboard, Scopely, MiTú and Medium.
Prior to starting TCG, Chernin served as President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. Chernin sits on the boards of American Express, Pandora, Twitter and is a senior advisor to Providence Equity Partners. He is on the board of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and is Chairman and Co-founder of Malaria No More.
JENNO TOPPING, p.g.a. (Producer) is the president of film at Chernin Entertainment where, in addition to overseeing development and production of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, she produced and oversaw St Vincent starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy; The Drop starring James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy; Spy directed by Paul Feig and starring Melissa McCarthy (currently in post-production); and The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, which was the highest grossing comedy of 2013.
Topping's other credits include Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw; Catch and Release, written and directed by Susannah Grant and starring Jennifer Garner; and the Charlie's Angels movies.
Topping previously served as an executive for HBO Films, where she supervised the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning films, The Late Shift (Kathy Bates) and Rasputin (Ian McKellen and Alan Rickman) in 1995.
MICHAEL SCHAEFER, p.g.a. (Producer) is President of Scott Free Productions. Prior to joining Scott Free, he was a senior executive at Summit Entertainment, where he oversaw a variety of films including the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, The Impossible, 50/50, Source Code, Sinister, Now You See Me and Ender's Game.
For Scott Free, his credits as producer include Ridley Scott's The Counselor and Child 44, the latter directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring Tom Hardy, based on the bestselling novel by Tom Rob Smith.
MARK HUFFAM (Producer) has been active in the film industry since 1983 and has been working as a producer for the last twelve years. Huffam's first major producing credit was earned on Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks, which went on to win five Oscars at the 1999 Academy Awards. In recognition of his own contribution to the film, Huffam was presented with the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for Best Production Team that year.
In 2000, Huffam co-produced the highly acclaimed Quills, starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet, which was nominated for three Oscars and five BAFTA Awards. After this, in 2001, he produced Captain Corelli's Mandolin for Working Title Films. Directed by John Madden, it starred Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz.
In 2002, Huffam teamed up with Scott Rudin to produce The Hours, directed by Stephen Daldry, starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. The film received eight Academy Award nominations that year and Kidman went on to win Best Actress for her role as Virginia Woolf.
Huffam produced the highly successful Johnny English in 2003 – again for Working Title. The film, starring Rowan Atkinson, grossed $147 million at the box office worldwide, and picked up a number of nominations including Best Film, British Comedy Awards 2003, and Best British Film (Empire Awards 2004). He joined forces with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner again to produce the film version of the popular 60s television series Thunderbirds in 2004.
Also in 2004, and with Stephen Daldry on board as executive producer, Huffam produced Mickybo and Me, a project he developed with the writer-director Terry Loane. Filmed in Northern Ireland and starring Julie Walters, it won awards and acclaim at the Irish Film Festival in 2005 and at other festivals around the world.
In 2005 and 2006, Huffam was involved in the highly successful GOAL! series set in the world of international soccer, producing the first two films of the trilogy for Milkshake Films and Buena Vista Pictures.
In 2007 he produced Mamma Mia!, the film version of the popular stage musical, for Universal Pictures, starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. It was a worldwide smash hit, accumulating more than $600 million at the box office to become one of Universal's top-grossing and most profitable films ever.
In 2008 Huffam established Generator Entertainment with Simon Bosanquet to develop and produce a cutting edge slate of genre films. Generator's films to date include the horror thriller Red Mist, coming-of-age drama Cherrybomb, with Rupert Grint, and the supernatural thriller Ghost Machine.
In 2009, Huffam produced the feature film Your Highness for Universal Pictures, starring Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel. In the same year, he produced the HBO television pilot, Game of Thrones, based on the first volume of the fantasy book series' A Song of Fire and Ice, by George RR Martin.
At the start of 2010, Huffam produced Nick Hamm's Killing Bono under the Generator slate in conjunction with Salt Company and Greenroom Entertainment. It starred Ben Barnes, upcoming Irish actor Robert Sheehan, and the late Pete Postlethwaite. Later in 2010, Huffam teamed up with HBO again to produce the television series Game of Thrones. It shot in Northern Ireland and Malta and starred Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Jason Momoa.
In 2011, Huffam collaborated with Ridley Scott for the first time serving as executive producer on Scott's science fiction epic Prometheus, reprising this role for the director on The Counselor, starring Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Michael Fassbender. In the same year he co-produced the Cardiff sequence of the Brad Pitt blockbuster World War Z. Prior to EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, he was executive producer of Robot Overlords, directed by John Wright, starring Gilian Anderson and Ben Kingsley.
DARIUSZ WOLSKI, ASC (Director of Photography) collaborated with Ridley Scott in 2012 on the highly anticipated science fiction epic Prometheus. The following year, he worked with the director on The Counselor, a contemporary crime drama. He served as director of photography on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, following his acclaimed work on The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Wolski also worked with Johnny Depp on Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland, as well as on Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary.
Wolski has collaborated with many other notable directors, including Gore Verbinski on The Mexican; DJ Caruso on Eagle Eye; Andrew Davis on A Perfect Murder; Alex Proyas on Dark City, and his cult classic The Crow; Peter Medak on Romeo Is Bleeding; John Polson on Hide And Seek; as well as with Tony Scott on The Fan and the Don Simpson-Jerry Bruckheimer production on Crimson Tide. For his work on the highly acclaimed Crimson Tide, Wolski garnered an ASC Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Wolski attended the Film School in Lodz. After moving to the United States in 1979, he worked on documentaries and independent films. His big break came in 1986 on the film Heart, when he was called in to replace a cinematographer who left the project. Soon after, Wolski moved to Los Angeles where he worked as director of photography on music videos and commercials for various directors, including Alex Proyas, David Fincher, Tony Scott, and Jake Scott.
ARTHUR MAX (Production Designer) began collaborating with director Ridley Scott in the TV commercial arena more than two decades ago. Max has received an Academy Award nomination for his work on two Scott-directed films: Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator, on which he brought ancient Rome to vivid life, and American Gangster, for which he recreated 1970s Harlem. For Gladiator, Max also won a BAFTA, a National Board of Review award, a Broadcast Film Critics award, and an Excellence in Production Design award from the Art Directors Guild. He received his fourth Art Directors Guild nomination for American Gangster.
Max's collaborations with Scott also include Prometheus, and Robin Hood, for which he received his first Art Directors Guild nomination, Body of Lies; Kingdom of Heaven; Black Hawk Down, for which he received his second Art Directors Guild nomination, as well as an American Film Institute award nomination; and GI Jane.
Max has twice collaborated with director David Fincher, designing the filmmaker's dark 1995 crime drama Se7en, and more recently on his claustrophobic thriller Panic Room, for which Max received his third Art Directors Guild nomination.
A native New Yorker, Max graduated from New York University in the late 1960s and began his career as a stage lighting designer in the music industry. His early work included the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival and projects at Bill Graham's famous venue Fillmore East in New York's East Village. During the following decade, he designed concert stages for such legendary musical artists as T-Rex and Pink Floyd. After studying architecture in England, earning degrees in the early 80s from Polytechnic of Central London and the Royal College of Art, Max went on to do several architectural design projects in London.
He worked in the British film industry as an assistant to such prominent production designers as Stuart Craig on Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and Cal, and Asshetton Gorton on Revolution. Max subsequently shifted his career focus to television commercials and, for a decade, designed for such clients as Pepsi, Nike, Jeep, Coke and Levi's, which led to his association with filmmakers Ridley Scott and David Fincher.
BILLY RICH (Film Editor), a native of Chicago, studied to be an auto mechanic but discovered an interest in editing while working the night shift at a television production company. His first job on a feature film was as a production assistant on Bruce LaBruce & Rick Castro's cult classic, Hustler White.
In 2001, Rich was hired by Academy Award-winning editor Pietro Scalia, as an apprentice editor on Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down. Scalia became a mentor to Rich, and he went on to assist Scalia on several more films for Scott, including American Gangster, Body of Lies and Robin Hood.
As producer, Ridley Scott hired Rich to co-edit Tell Tale, directed by Michael Cuesta. Rich also worked as Additional Editor on Machine Gun Preacher, directed by Marc Forster, and in 2011 he collaborated on director Peter Berg's Battleship. Rich enjoys working with other editors, and feels privileged to have teamed up with many whom he admires, including Matt Chessé, Paul Rubell, and Stephen Rivkin.
In 2012, director Gus Van Sant hired Rich to edit Promised Land, giving him his first break to cut a feature as sole editor. Subsequently he reunited with Ridley Scott, first to edit his Showtime pilot The Vatican and now to edit EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS.
ALBERTO IGLESIAS (Music) was nominated as Film Composer of the Year in 2011 by the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA). He is a three time Academy Award nominee, for his work on The Constant Gardener (2006), The Kite Runner (2008) and Tinker Tailer, Soldier Spy (2012.)
Iglesias won the European Film Award for Best Score three times and in his native Spain he has won or been nominated for the Cinema Writers Circle Award for Best Score ten times and has won ten Goya Awards in addition, more than any other Spanish composer.
He is a frequent collaborator with fellow Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar and composed the score for Steven Soderbergh's Che.
JANTY YATES (Costume Designer) won the 2000 Academy Award and earned a BAFTA nomination for her costumes evoking ancient Rome in Ridley Scott's Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator. The film marked the first of eight feature film collaborations to date with Scott, which also includes The Counselor; Prometheus; Robin Hood, for which she received both Saturn and Satellite nominations for Best Costume Design; Body of Lies; American Gangster; Hannibal and Kingdom Of Heaven, for which she received a Goya Award nomination for Best Costume Design.
Yates' list of notable filmmaker collaborations also includes the Michael Winterbottom films Welcome To Sarajevo, Jude and With Or Without You; Michael Mann's Miami Vice; Jean-Jacques Annaud's Enemy At The Gates; Christopher Monger's The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain; Jon Amiel's The Man Who Knew Too Little; Gillian Armstrong's Charlotte Gray; and Irwin Winkler's Cole Porter biographical drama De-Lovely, for which her designs of post-Depression elegance earned Yates a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination.
Yates began her career in the fashion world, and then segued to the film industry as a costume assistant on Jean-Jacques Annaud's Quest for Fire. She subsequently worked on two Mike Newell films: the 1985 thriller Dance with a Stranger and the 1988 drama Soursweet. She served as wardrobe supervisor on Alan Parker's acclaimed Irish music tale The Commitments, and then made her debut as a feature film costume designer with the 1993 British comedy Bad Behaviour.
ABOUT THE CAST
CHRISTIAN BALE (Moses) was born in Wales and grew up in England and the U.S.
He made his film debut in Steven Spielberg's World War II epic Empire of the Sun.
Bale's work to date includes Henry V, The Portrait of a Lady, The Secret Agent, Metroland, Velvet Goldmine, All the Little Animals, American Psycho, Laurel Canyon, The Machinist, Batman Begins, The New World, The Prestige, Harsh Times, Rescue Dawn, 3:10 to Yuma, I'm Not There, The Dark Knight, Public Enemies, The Fighter, Flowers of War and The Dark Knight Rises.
More recently, Bale starred in Out of the Furnace, American Hustle and Knight of Cups.
JOEL EDGERTON (Ramses) appeared Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, gaining critical acclaim , and winning the Best Supporting Actor Award from the Australian Film Academy and the Australian Film Critics, for his performance as Tom Buchanan, starring alongside Leonardo di Caprio in the title role.
In 2013 Edgerton wrote, produced and starred in Felony, directed by Matthew Saville.
In 2012, he appeared in the highly acclaimed, award-winning drama Zero Dark Thirty, from director Kathryn Bigelow. In the same year, he also starred opposite Jennifer Garner in Peter Hedges' The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
For his performance in the crime drama Animal Kingdom, from director David Michôd, Edgerton was honored with an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film received the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and was also awarded the AFI Awards for Best Film and Member's Choice.
More recently, Edgerton filmed leading roles in Life, Anton Corbijn's drama about Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock; Black Mass, costarring with Johnny Depp, and Midnight Special, directed by Jeff Nichols, with Kirsten Dunst.
Edgerton also recently filmed Jane Got a Gun, reteaming him with director Gavin O'Connor in an Old West, revenge drama alongside Natalie Portman. Edgerton first worked with O'Connor in Warrior, the critically acclaimed story of an estranged family set in the world of mixed-martial arts, with Nick Nolte and Tom Hardy. That same year, Edgerton shared the screen with Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Thing, a prequel to the John Carpenter cult classic.
His other film credits include The Square, directed by his brother Nash Edgerton; the Australian feature Acolytes; Whisper, with Josh Holloway; the crime thriller Smokin' Aces; the drag comedy Kinky Boots; and George Lucas's Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
Edgerton lent his voice to the animated feature Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, from Zack Snyder, and the Academy Award-nominated animated short The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, performing the title role.
In 2009, he starred as Stanley Kowalski, alongside Cate Blanchett's Blanche DuBois, in the Sydney Theatre Company's acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The pair also performed the play to sold-out audiences at the Kennedy Center in November of that year, followed by a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in December.
Edgerton attended the Nepean Drama School in western Sydney before moving on to various stage productions, most notably at the Sydney Theatre Company"Blackrock, Third World Blues and Love for Love"and the Bell Shakespeare, where he appeared in Henry IV. On Australian television, Edgerton is known for playing the role of Will in the long-running series The Secret Life of Us, for which he was nominated for an AFI Award.
JOHN TURTURRO (Seti) studied at the Yale School of Drama and for his theatrical debut played the title role in John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, for which he won an Obie Award and a Theater World Award. Turturro has since starred in the Off-Broadway plays La Puta Vida Trilogy, Italian American Reconciliation, Samuel Beckett's Endgame, the title role in Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Souls of Naples, and the Broadway production of Yasmina Reza's Life (x) 3.
In 2011, Turturro appeared as Lopakhin in the highly acclaimed CSC production of The Cherry Orchard. He appeared in the title role of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder at BAM for the spring 2013 season. Turturro has also directed plays, including the Off-Broadway production of the U.S. premiere of Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play in 2007, and the 2011 Broadway production of Relatively Speaking, three one-act comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen.
Turturro was nominated for a SAG Award™ for his portrayal of Howard Cosell in the television movie Monday Night Mayhem and won an EmmyAward for his guest appearance on the series Monk. In 2007 he appeared in the miniseries The Bronx is Burning as notorious Yankee skipper Billy Martin, which garnered him a SAG Award nomination.
Turturro has performed in over 60 films, including Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues and Jungle Fever, Robert Redford's Quiz Show, Francesco Rosi's La Tregua, and Joel and Ethan Coen's Miller's Crossing, The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou? For his lead role in the Coen brothers' Barton Fink, Turturro won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He also received Cannes' Camera d'Or Award for his directorial debut, Mac, in 1991. Turturro has also directed Illuminata, Romance & Cigarettes, and .Passione: A Musical Adventure.
AARON PAUL (Joshua) is one of Hollywood's best rising young talents. With his acclaimed performance in the AMC drama Breaking Bad, a popular signature catchphrase and a historic three Emmy Award wins in 2014, 1012 and 2010 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Paul is rapidly becoming a household name.
Paul was seen in the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad reprising the role of the beloved Jesse Pinkman opposite Bryan Cranston. The critically acclaimed show won Outstanding Drama Series at both the2014 and 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards and Best TV Drama Series at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards and Emmy Awards.
Paul recently filmed Triple Nine alongside an all-star cast of Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, and Anthony Mackie. Directed by John Hillcoat, the story revolves around a crew of dirty cops blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. Prior to that, he finished the film Fathers and Daughters earlier this year, about a woman (Amanda Seyfried) struggling with relationship issues who reflects on growing up with her famous novelist father (Russell Crowe).
In his first major starring role, Paul led DreamWorks's action film Need for Speed, bringing in over $200 million worldwide at the box office. Based on the popular video game, the film tells the story of a street racer who joins a cross country race to seek vengeance for the murder of his best friend.
Paul's additional credits include the IFC drama Hellion, a Sundance Film Festival selection which he also Executive Produced; the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel A Long Way Down; the Sony Picture Classis drama Smashed; and the hit film Mission: Impossible III.
When not acting, Paul is a passionate music fan, an avid traveler, and also an advocate for the Kind Campaign, a non-profit organization founded by his wife Lauren that seeks to raise awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl crime and bullying.
BEN MENDELSOHN (Hegep), in 2010, starred opposite Guy Pearce in David Michod's highly acclaimed feature Animal Kingdom (winner of the Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Jury Prize). His performance in the film earned him both of Australia's top awards – an AFI Award and an IF Award for Best Lead Actor.
This performance led to three starring roles in coveted films: Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises opposite Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway; Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper; and Andrew Dominik's Cogan's Killing Them Softly, opposite Brad Pitt.
His other recent work includes Rachel Ward's feature debut Beautiful Kate alongside Rachel Griffiths (for which he received an AFI Award nomination for Best Lead Actor), David Caesar's Prime Mover, Alex Proyas' Knowing starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne, and Baz Luhrmann's Australia.
In 2013 he won the BIFA for his work in David Mackenzie's Starred Up.
Ben appears in Ryan Gosling's directorial debut How to Catch a Monster and Kevin Macdonald's Black Sea.
SIGOURNEY WEAVER (Tuya) is an Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning actress who has created a host of memorable characters, both dramatic and comic, in films ranging from Ripley in Alien to Dian Fossey in Gorillas in Mist. Over the years, she has captivated audiences and won acclaim as one of the most esteemed actresses on both stage and screen.
Born and educated in New York City, Weaver graduated from Stanford University and went on to receive a Master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. Her first professional job was as an understudy in Sir John Gielgud's production of The Constant Wife, starring Ingrid Bergman.
Weaver made her motion picture debut in Ridley Scott's blockbuster Alien. She later reprised the role of Warrant Officer Ripley in James Cameron's Aliens, which earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. She again brought Ripley back to life in David Fincher's Aliens 3, which she also co-produced and Alien Resurrection for director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Following Alien, Weaver had starring roles in three back to back hit movies: Gorillas in the Mist, in which she portrayed primatologist Dian Fossey, the Mike Nichols comedy Working Girl, and Ghostbusters II. Weaver received her second and third Academy Award nominations and was awarded Golden Globes for her performances in Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. Other films include the thriller Copycat, Paul Rudnick's comedy Jeffrey, Roman Polanski's gripping film adaptation of Death and the Maiden, Half Moon Street with Michael Caine, Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, One Woman or Two with Gerard Depardieu, Eyewitness with William Hurt and Showtime's live-action film Snow White, based on the original Grimm's fairytale, which earned her an Emmy nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.
In 1997 Weaver joined the ensemble of Ang Lee's critically acclaimed film The Ice Storm playing alongside Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Elijah Wood and Christina Ricci. Her performance garnered her a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She later gave a galvanizing performance in A Map of The World, Scott Elliott's powerful drama based on the novel by Jane Hamilton, which earned her universal critical praise and a Golden Globe nomination for best actress. She delighted audiences with her flair for comedy, along with crewmates Tim Allen and Alan Rickman, in the science fiction comedy Galaxy Quest directed by Dean Parisot, which proved to be a hit of the 1999 Holiday season. She followed this with the popular comedy Heartbreakers, playing opposite Gene Hackman and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.
In 2003, Weaver played the cold-blooded, red-headed warden in the hit comedy Holes, directed by Andy Davis and starred in the film version of The Guys, with Anthony LaPaglia, directed by Jim Simpson. Following this, Weaver appeared in M. Night Shamalyan's The Village and received rave reviews for her performance in Imaginary Heroes, written and directed by Dan Harris.
Other film credits include Infamous with Toby Jones and Sandra Bullock; Jake Kasdan's The TV Set; Snow Cake, opposite Alan Rickman; Tim Allen's Crazy on the Outside; The Girl in the Park, opposite Kate Bosworth; Vantage Point with Dennis Quaid and Forrest Whitaker, the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama and in Andy Fickman's comedy You Again alongside Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Bell and Betty White. In 2008 Weaver lent her voice to Pixar's box office smash Wall-E, as well as The Tale of Despereaux with Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Watson.
In December 2009, Weaver starred in Jim Cameron's groundbreaking film Avatar, which went on to be the highest grossing film of all time. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Picture and also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Other film credits include Cedar Rapids starring John C. Reilley, Anne Heche and Ed Helms; Paul with Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman; Abduction with Taylor Lautner; Amy Heckerling's Vamps with Alicia Silverstone; Mabrouk El Mechri's The Cold Light of Day with Bruce Willis; as well as Red Lights with Robert De Niro.
Weaver will next be seen in Neil Blomkamp's Chappie, alongside Hugh Jackman. She will soon begin production on the next three films in James Cameron's Avatar series.
In addition to her film credits, Sigourney Weaver has also taken time to shine on the stage. Weaver started out on Off-Off Broadway in Christopher Durang's The Nature and Purpose of the Universe, Titanic and Das Lusitania Songspiel, She and Durang co-wrote Das Lusitania which earned them both Drama Desk nominations. She has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions in New York, working with such writers as John Guare, Albert Innaurato, Richard Nelson and Len Jenkin. In regional repertory, she has performed works by Pinter, Williams, Feydeau and Shakespeare. She also appeared in the PBS mini-series The Best of Families.
Weaver received a Tony® Award nomination for her starring role in Hurlyburly on Broadway, directed by Mike Nichols. She played Portia in the Classic Stage Company of New York's production of The Merchant of Venice. In 1996, Weaver returned to Broadway in the Lincoln Center production of Sex and Longing, written by Christopher Durang. In fall 2012, she starred in the Lincoln Center production of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which moved to Broadway in 2013. That year, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike took home the Tony award for Best Play.
Weaver originated roles in two A.R. Gurney world premieres, Crazy Mary at Playwrights Horizons, and Mrs. Farnsworth, at the Flea Theater. She also starred in Neil LaBute's play The Mercy Seat, opposite Liev Schreiber, which John Lahr of The New Yorker described as offering 'performances of a depth and concentration that haven't been seen in New York for many seasons." Weaver also originated the female lead in Anne Nelson's The Guys at The Flea, where it was commissioned and directed by Jim Simpson. The Guys tells the story of a fire captain dealing with the aftermath of 9/11.
In TV, Weaver received Emmy, Screen Actors' Guild and Golden Globe nominations for outstanding performance by a female for her role as Mary Griffith in Lifetime's Prayers for Bobby, which was also Emmy and Golden Globe nominated for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. In 2012, she was seen in USA Network's miniseries Political Animals. She received a SAG, Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for her performance.
BEN KINGSLEY (Nun), after earning an Academy Award, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA Awards for his riveting portrayal of Indian social leader Mahatma Gandhi, continues to bring unequaled detail and nuance to each role. In 1984, Kingsley was awarded the Padma Sri by Indira Gandhi and the government of India. Kingsley went on to earn three additional Oscar nominations for Bugsy (1991), Sexy Beast (2000) and House of Sand and Fog (2003), his roles have been as diverse as his talents, from a sturdy vice president in Dave to the scheming Fagin in Oliver Twist. Since being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year's Eve Honors List 2001, Kingsley has continued to earn honors as a truly international star.
Last year, Kingsley was seen in the blockbuster film Iron Man 3, as The Mandarin. The film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide to date. Earlier this year, Kingsley starred in Summit Entertainment's Ender's Game about an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future alien invasion. Based on the novel of the same name, the film is directed and written by Gavin Hood.
Kingsley was seen in A Common Man, an independent psychological thriller directed by Sri Lankan filmmaker Chandran Rutnam and the independent comedy A Birder's Guide to Everything, about a young boy who thinks he's made the discovery of a lifetime and escapes on an epic road trip with his best friend to solidify their place in birding history.
Kingsley stars in Learning to Drive, where he re-teams with his Elegy director Isabel Coixet and co-star Patricia Clarkson. The film is based on a Katha Pollitt personal essay published in The New Yorker in 2002, recounting Pollitt's biweekly lessons with her Filipino driving instructor as she attempts to earn a license after her lover leaves her.
He lends his voice to the Focus Features animated film The Boxtrolls based on the novel Here Be Monsters.
Kingsley's recent film credits include The Physician, an adaptation of Noah Gordon's best-selling novel which follows a young Christian born into poverty in 11th Century England who ventures across Europe into Muslim-dominated Persia to better study the emerging study of healing; Our Robot Overlords, where Earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy and survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by Robot Sentries if they venture outside; and Eliza Graves alongside Michael Caine, Kate Beckinsale and Jim Sturgess, a film based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story; a turn of the century thriller about a young doctor who comes up to apprentice at a remote mental institution. He meets a beautiful patient, with whom he falls in love under circumstances which may be much more complicated than they seem.
Kingsley's other roles include Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator and Martin Scorsese's Hugo. Released in 2011, the latter earned five Academy Awards. Kingsley was also seen starring in Martin Scorsese's 1950s drama Shutter Island, as well as Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia. He also starred in the sexually charged Elegy, directed by Isabel Coixet, for which he was nominated British Actor of the Year by the London Critics Circle Film Awards.
Kingsley starred in two films at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival giving further perspective to his work: The Audience Award winning and Grand Jury Prize nominated The Wackness, in which he plays a drug-addled psychiatrist; and the crime thriller Transsiberian, as a mysterious traveler opposite Woody Harrelson. He also starred in50 Dead Men, a thriller set against the dangerous backdrop of 1980s Ireland, and the more lighthearted crime comedy War, Inc. opposite John Cusack.
Steeped in British theatre, Kingsley marked the beginning of his professional acting career with his acceptance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in l967. From roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title roles in Othello and Hamlet, among others, his more recent and diverse stage roles include those in The Country Wife, The Cherry Orchard, A Betrothal and Waiting for Godot.
Kingsley's film career began in l972 with the thriller Fear Is the Key, but his first major role came a decade later in the epic Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough. He followed this Oscar-winning performance with such early films as Betrayal, Turtle Diary, Harem, Pascali's Island, Without a Clue (as Dr. Watson to Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes) and The Children opposite Kim Novak. During the -90s Kingsley distinguished himself through such roles as Mayer Lansky in Bugsy, Sneakers, Searching for Bobby Fischer and Dave. In 1994 he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his memorable supporting role as Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg's seven-time Oscar winner Schindler's List.
Kingsley has remained a coveted and ubiquitous talent. Beginning with such films as Rules of Engagement, What Planet Are You From? and an Oscar-nominated role as a brutal gangster in Sexy Beast, he received his most recent Oscar nomination in 2004 for his performance as a proud Iranian emigrant in the highly acclaimed House of Sand and Fog. Among his films in the last several years are Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist, the crime drama Lucky Number Slevin, John Dahl's You Kill Me and the Roman Empire saga The Last Legion.
MARIA VALVERDE (Zipporah) was born in Madrid. She began acting in 2002, when film director Manuel Martin Cuenca chose her from 3000 girls to be the lead actress in his film The Bolshevik's Weakness. One year later, Maria's work impressed both the audience and the Spanish Film Academy, who awarded her with the Goya for Best Newcomer.
Since then Maria has starred in films such as Fuera del Cuerpo, directed by Vicente Peñarroche, and Vorvik, directed by Jose Antonio Vitoria. In 2006, she stepped into international work with the film Melissa P, based on international bestseller 'Melissa Panarello", working under Italian film director Luca Guadagnino. After her work in Italy, Maria played leading roles in The Borgias directed by Antonio Hernandez, Thieves directed by Jaime Marques, King of the Hill directed by Gonzalo Lopez Gallego, and the German-French-Spanish film The Anarchist's Wife directed by Marie Noëlle and Peter Sehr.
Valverde's first film in English came in 2008 with Cracks directed by Jordan Scott, playing a lead role alongside Eva Green. Back in Spain and after her work in The Mule, directed by Michael Radford, Maria was chosen to play the leading actress in Three Steps Above Heaven, directed by Fernando Gonzalez Molina, which became the biggest Box-Office hit of the year in Spain. In 2011, Maria worked on the critically acclaimed Madrid 1987 directed by David Trueba opposite Jose Sacristan. That same year, made her TV debut in La Fuga.
Maria then went on to work on I Want You, the sequel to Three Steps Above Heaven and Vidhu Chopra's Broken Horses in Los Angeles.
The past year has seen Maria complete filming on Venezuelan-Spanish Libertador directed by Alberto Arvelo, Cold Call with Nick Nolte, and Mexican film La Carga, directed by Alan Jonsson.
Valverde's awards include: Best Actress for Cold Call at the Festival de Cine de Santiago; Best Actress for Thieves at the Festival Internacional de Cine Mediterráneo de Tetuán; Best Actress for King of the Hill at the California Screamfest. Maria was also awarded Best Film Actress in 2012 and 2007 by Cosmopolitan magazine and Glamour magazine respectively.
DAR SALIM (Commander Khyan) is known to international audiences for his roles in the blockbuster series Game of Thrones, receiving a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild for Best Ensemble for season three, and the widely seen Danish drama series Borgen.
Born in Iraq, he has lived in Denmark since the age of six, becoming a member of the Royal Guard, and qualifying as a pilot. He trained as an actor in New York and London and his first role was in Danish television series Forsvar. Since then he has starred in Danish drama series, including Dicte, and Dicte 2, and The Bridge.
Film roles include Tobias Lindholm's A Hijacking, The Devil's Double, directed by Lee Tamahori, and Tomas Vinterberg's award winning Submarino.
GOLSHIFTEH FARAHANI (Nefertari) is an Iranian actress who has appeared in more than thirty films since her debut in The Pear Tree, at the age of 14, a performance that won her the Best Actress Award at the Fajr Film Festival, and gave her immediate recognition as one of Iran's foremost actresses. Since then she has starred in many films which have gained awards at local and international festivals, including M for Mother, which was the Iranian entry for the Academy Awards in 2008.
In 2008 she appeared in Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, becoming the first Iranian actress to star in an American film.
Now residing in Paris, Golshifteh is also an accomplished musician, and in 2009 released an album Oy, with fellow Iranian musician Mohsen Namjoo.
INDIRA VARMA (High Priestess) made her film debut in Mira Nair's film, A Tale of Love, and has since had many leading roles, most recently in the international television blockbuster series Game of Thrones.
Other recent television roles include the award-winning drama series Luther, co-starring with Idris Elba, and the HBO series Rome, which won several awards. She has appeared in the U.S. series Bones, and was a series regular in the medical series 3 lbs, in the Emmy nominated Human Target and in the BBC science fiction series Torchwood.
Exodus: Gods & Kings is out on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD.