Watch Christian Bale Go Wholly Moses in New Trailer for ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

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Christian Bale didn’t have to dig too deep to play Moses in Ridley Scott’s upcoming big-screen Biblical saga, Exodus: Gods and Kings. As the 40-year-old Oscar-winning actor told a roomful of press members on Tuesday in Los Angeles: “You can’t out-Heston Charlton Heston.” Instead of doing a version of the late Ten Commandmentsactor — who “nearly levitated” when he put forth the five books of Moses, as Bale observed — “I was actually far more just myself than anything I’ve ever done before, because I couldn’t sustain the intensity of that character and still last.”

Bale was at the 20th Century Fox lot to preview 3-D footage from the forthcoming film, a new trailer for which you can see above. Shot in a mere 74 days, in locations all over the globe, Exodus is full of striking battle scenes, and depicts several key biblical events, including a plague of frogs and river water turning to blood. To prepare for the movie, Bale said he watched Biblical spoof movies Monty Python’sLife of Brian and Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part I, to explore what “we could unintentionally make funny.” Exodus is no comedy.

Also on display at Fox on Tuesday were character-driven sequences between Bale’s Moses and Joel Edgerton’s Rhamses, whom Moses was brought up to believe was his brother. We also glimpsed John Turturro as the Pharaoh Seti, Rhamses’s father, and the man who raised Moses; Aaron Paul as Joshua, Moses’s eventual successor; Sigourney Weaver as Queen Tuya, Seti’s wife and Moses’s adoptive mother; and Ben Kingsley as Nun, who informs Moses of his true, Hebrew origins.

We also got a better peek at the eye makeup look the Egyptians wore. Bale said that was the easiest part: “I’ve done a glam rock film before [1998’s Velvet Goldmine],” he told the crowd. “So I was real good about putting on my own eyeliner.”

And, as for his take on lifting those heavy Commandment-inscribed tablets, Bale said, “This is something you should see a man who, really, is straining.” In other words, no levitation scenes.

 Exodus: Gods and Kings opens in theaters on Dec. 12.

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