Holy מֹשֶׁה! Our (non-Caananite) spies inform us that not one but two Exodus epics featuring Moses are rapidly heating up in Hollywood thanks to a pair of heavyweight producers. At Warner Bros., producer Dan Lin — who developed the 2006 Best Picture, The Departed — and Matti Leshem are developing Moses, an epic version of the story of the Israelites’ departure from Egypt. Lin’s Exodus project has some interesting authors: British screenwriter Stuart Hazeldine and American TV writer turned screenwriter Michael Green. (For those unfamiliar with either, Hazeldine recently co-wrote an adaptation of the sci-fi classic The Tripods with Alex Proyas, for whom he’s also doing an adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost for Warner Bros.–based Legendary Pictures. And though Green’s best known for co-executive producing NBC’s Heroes — and creating the short-lived Kings — he’s recently become Warner Bros.’ go-to guy for Spandex stories: Green wrote both the script for 2011’s The Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and the studio’s planned adaptation of DC Comics’ The Flash, due in 2013.)
Meanwhile, over at 20th Century Fox, former News Corp. president turned producer Peter Chernin is readying what’s being referred to internally only as the Untitled Moses Project from the screenwriting team of Bill Collage and Adam Cooper. True, Collage and Cooper wrote the Olsen-twins vehicle New York Minute, and the Justin Long comedy Accepted, but they’ve recently been aiming a bit higher: The pair is adapting Moby Dick for Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov at Universal, and hashing out Marco Polo for director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) at Warner Bros.
Who’ll part the Red Sea for either of these outings is anyone’s guess at this point — Chernin’s Moses is just now headed out to directors; Lin’s expecting a final draft imminently — but whoever does, they’ll have some pretty big sandals to fill: Cecil B. DeMille’s epic The Ten Commandments was nominated for Best Picture (and won the Oscar for best special effects) in 1957, and quite honestly we still don’t think anyone has done a better Moses since Mel Brooks stood before the Lord in 1981’s History of the World: Part One and gave us the
Fifteen … Ten Commandments.