A prominent Christian group has denounced Ridley Scott's "Exodus," saying the not-yet-released film will "not resonate with faith audiences" due to its lack of Biblical accuracy,
Faith Driven Consumer, an organization connecting Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, said recent reports that Ridley Scott "went off the biblical text" in making Exodus--including casting a young boy to play the voice of God--should cause Christians "serious concern."
"Each new detail on Exodus diminishes our hopes that the film will resonate with faith and secular audiences alike. Consumers don't object to filmmakers taking artistic license - they expect that - but they strongly object to deviations that fundamentally undercut the core biblical story and message. Using the voice of a child for God the Father is a primary example, it will likely offend millions around the world. It's gross miscasting, the biblical equivalent of choosing an old woman to play Harry Potter. Fans would say, 'Harry Potter is a young boy, why did you make that choice? I'm gonna sit this one out.' Our research indicates Exodus is no different," said Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer and Certified Brand Strategist.
"The admission that Exodus strays from the biblical text, claiming that the Bible is 'very terse' affords another such example. Any casual reader of the Scriptures understands clearly that there is a great level of detail about this story. It's not difficult to get the basic elements right. Key elements of a story matter, just as its fundamental message matters."
This is not the first time the film, which will hit theatres Dec. 12, has come under fire for its lack of Biblical accuracy.
Earlier this year, Christian Bale, who plays the Moses, called the Biblical prophet "schizophrenic" and "one of the most barbaric individuals ever."
"He's a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling," added Bale, although acknowledging that his own knowledge of the Bible is lacking."
In response, Chris Stone of FDC told the Hollywood Reporter, "There's nothing in the biblical history that supports that. It's an indication that there will be a tremendous disconnect between Bale's interpretation and the expectations of the market."
Christian writer Brian Godawa also warned, "It's accurate to portray Moses as an imperfect hero, so Christians won't take issue with that. But to be so extreme as to call him one of the most barbaric people in history, that sounds like he's [Bale] going out of his way to distance himself from the very people you'd think he wants to appeal to.
"It tells me that he's worried about Hollywood peer approval while looking down on the public, because he certainly doesn't want to be associated with the religious or the far right."
According to a previous American Insights survey for Christian News Service/NICAEA, a whopping 80% of Christians would be likely to see "Exodus" if it accurately portrays the biblical account. However, 69% of Christians overall would be unlikely to see the film if it does not accurately portray the Bible.