The director of Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott is not sorry he only cast white actors in the movie.
Ridley Scott gave pretty eye-opening interview with Deadline over the weekend around the premiere of his upcoming movie The Martian at the Toronto International Film Festival, and one of the topics discussed was the controversy surrounding the casting of his 2014 Moses movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, in which the director came under fire for “whitewashing” and casting white movie stars to play Egyptians.
At the time Scott told those threatening to boycott the movie to “get a life” and how he’s serious, noting that the $145 million movie would have never been made in the first place had he not cast Caucasian movie stars in the lead roles.
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.
You can read the full interview here, in which Scott also discusses his forthcoming sci-fi sequel “Prometheus 2,” which is scheduled to begin shooting in February.