It is being reported by The Tracking Board that Paramount Pictures is still very much interested in doing more Biblical Epics. In February, Ben-Hur, the third official big screen adaptation of the classic novel will hit theaters. ShareBenHur.com has stated that a trailer to that movie will drop by the end of October. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see it! But, what The Tracking Board is reporting is not about Ben-Hur… they are saying that Paramount is developing a remake of The Ten Commandments!
I know what you might be thinking, “But, we just had Exodus: God’s and Kings.” Yes, you are right… but, for many people that film fell flat. I personally found much of it to be enjoyable but I must admit it was quite a letdown for me. I didn’t think it was as terrible as others thought… but I also shared in my review that I seem to have a blind spot when it comes to Ridley Scott films.
Along with my disappointment of Exodus, my biggest disappointment was that we would not have another chance of seeing a well done “10 Commandments” type adaption. An adaption that would be more pleasing to people of faith. Has my hope been resurrected?… well… slightly, but not a ton.
Yes, Paramount is doing Ben-Hur, which I am expecting to be very friendly to the faith community, but it is not because of Paramount. Don’t forget, Paramount is responsible for bring us Noah. A film I don’t have mixed feelings about. I don’t think I could have been more disappointed with it. The reason I have confidence in Ben-Hur is because of the producers, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. These two, no matter what your opinion is of them, have been trying very hard to make content that lifts up the faith community instead of tear them down. They are the ones guiding Ben-Hur… so who is guiding this Ten Commandments remake?
The Tracking Board has listed two producers on the film. One of those names is Cale Boyter. Boyter was a producer on The Nativity Story. The Nativity Story, though not as strong of a movie as I was hoping for, it still was decent and certainly took the birth of Christ seriously. This name allows for hope. The second name they listed was Mary Parent. How does that name settle with me right now? Not very well. Parent was a producer on Noah. That gives me a lot of pause.
Is there still hope? I think so. There are two reasons why I still have hope. The first is that there were many reports back before Noah came out that Paramount was pushing for a move Biblical cut of the film. Now, when they say “Paramount” who do they mean? Could Mary Parent have been pushing for a more biblical film? I don’t know but it is possible. One thing that I think it tells me is that Paramount would be going into this film thinking they want to be more biblical then Noah. The second reason I still have hope is because I think it is possible for Mary Parent to have learned from Noah. You see, Noah made money, but I think it could have made a lot more if it we less fantasy and more biblical. I think Mary knows that too. I think Paramount knows this. That is exactly why they are not letting the failure of Exodus keep them from trying this.
Is there reason to stay cautious? Yes! Beyond the fact that it is Paramount, who released Noah and the fact that it has one of the same producers, the article also mentions that they are looking for a director/writer who can give “a different take” on the classic story. Those words always make me cringe. Noah was certainly a different take on the classic story… but you could say that Ben-Hur was a different take on the crucifixion story. Those words don’t mean they want to go the way of Noah but it does nothing to calm my fears either.
My conclusion is, I am excited for a Ten Commandments remake! If we get another Noah, so what! Really Noah is just going to fade into the background. No one is going to consider it a classic, it is not going to air every year around Easter of Christmas. It is simply a movie that disappointed the faith community. SO if the Ten Commandments goes that rout, so what. But if they learn from the past, the fact they are developing a remake gives us yet another chance to see this biblical story come to life in a spectacular way! You might be ready to say “I think the chances of a great movie are slim.” Well… Slim is better than none… and I am not convinced the chances are slim. I eagerly look forward to hearing who they find to write and direct this film. Knowing that could give us a little more insight into what type of movie they are shooting for.