Director Ridley Scott caught waves of criticism from filmgoers after the release of his 2014 biblical epic film, Exodus: Gods and Kings. Scott responded to the chatter in a disdainful fashion and continued his pushback stance in a recent interview.
Scott, who is the director of upcoming sci-fi film The Martian starring Matt Damon in a lead role, sat down with Deadline to discuss the project. Before long, the Exodus film came up in conversation and Scott stuck to his stance that the film wouldn’t have happened if he bowed to pressure to diversify the cast.
DEADLINE: Exodus was visually overwhelming, you created that ancient world and brought the plagues in all their vivid horror, and yet the fixation was on how you didn’t hire indigenous actors in the lead roles. In hindsight, is there something you might have done differently?
SCOTT: Nah. Some have said, isn’t Christ black? He could have been. It depends on what part of North Africa he comes from, but how do we know? The short sharp crude answer is, I couldn’t get a film like that mounted for that kind of budget—we were $145 million, not $260 million, so that wasn’t bad– but to make Moses black and his wife Ethiopian? They never would have made the movie.
Last December, Scott told protestors of the film to “get a life” and lead actor Christian Bale, who played Moses, supported Scott publicly. The director was candid in stating the film couldn’t have been done any other way and that he was equally hamstrung by the budget.