2014 is once again proving to be the year of the faith-based film, as a Biblical epic titled "Exodus: Gods and Kings" will hit theatres December 12.
The film, which is directed by Ridley Scott and boasts a star-studded cast including Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and Joel Edgerton, tells the story of the prophet Moses revealed in the book of Exodus.
Christian Bale, who stars as Moses, says he was drawn to the character after reading the Biblical account in which Moses stands up to Ramses, faces ten devastating plagues, and leads nearly 600,000 slaves to freedom.
"The Biblical account of Moses is extraordinary," the "Batman" star told Entertainment Weekly.
"There's nothing mild about the Exodus or Moses. He's one of the most fascinating characters that I've ever studied. I think Achilles is described as the most passionate man alive but I think Moses would give him a very good run for his money," Bale continued.
Director Ridley Scott echoed Bale's sentiments, saying he was blown away by the epic nature of the book of Exodus.
"What I thought I knew about Moses I didn't really," Scott says. "Either I wasn't paying attention in Sunday school or I had forgotten. I was knocked out by who he was and the basics of the story-it has to be one of the greatest adventures and spiritual experiences that could ever have been."
Scott noted that the film is rather dark, as the story of Moses is "about humanity in its rawest form." However, he is quick to point out that the somber nature of the movie is juxtaposed by the "redemptive themes" visible throughout the story.
"It's a marvelous human story about change. There are massive questions here. You treat it with great respect."
The movie, which also features "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul, was filmed in Almería, along the Mediterranean Sea, and Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands.
"Exodus: Gods and Kings" is one of multiple faith-based films released this year. Thus far, four Christian-themed movies have already earned more than $50 million each in ticket sales, according to Boxofficemojo.com. Those films-"Noah," "Heaven is for Real," "Son of God," and "God's Not Dead"-are among the top 20 grossing films of 2014.
According to a survey of 1,054 Americans from LifeWay Research, nearly half of Americans (56 percent) say they wish there were more movies with Christian values.
"Faith-based movies are no longer a niche," said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. "It's smart economics-if you make a film that appeals to that audience, they will show up.