Egypt bans biblical epic ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’
Directed by Ridley Scott, ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ stars Christian Bale.Egypt has banned Hollywood’s big screen biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” a 20th Century Fox spokesman has said to Reuters. The studio owned by 21st Century Fox Inc. declined to give a reason for the ban, but films that depict biblical figures have been prohibited before in the Muslim country.
Paramount Pictures’ rendition of “Noah” was banned in several countries in the Middle East this year for its depiction of a prophet, which is forbidden in Islam.
The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale, dramatizes the Book of Exodus about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt. “Exodus,” which has an estimated $140 million budget, has come under criticism for casting mostly white actors in the lead roles and some historical anachronisms.
Morocco has also reportedly banned the film, which has so far grossed $107 million in two weeks in its worldwide release.
Moroccan media last week reported that cinema managers had been told not to screen the film, despite its release already having been approved by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Center, according to Agence France-Presse. Hassan Belkady, who runs Cinema Rif in Casablanca, told news website media24 he had been threatened with the closure of his business if he ignored the ban. “They threatened they would shut down the theater if I did not take the film off the schedule,” Belkady said.
The film’s ban comes as Sony Pictures faced a devastating cyber-attack blamed on North Korea for “The Interview,” a raunchy comedy that depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.