Dec 01, 2014 4:31 PM
EXODUS Movie Portrays God as “Willful Child” Who is “Children of the Corn Terrifying” Reports NYT; Faith Driven Consumer Reacts, Calling False Depiction “Deal Breaker…Likely to Have Significant Impact on Box Office Returns"
CNS/NICAEA poll by American Insights: 68% of Americans unlikely to see EXODUS if not biblically accurate; Faith Driven Consumer poll by American Insights: Biblical accuracy #1 deciding factor in considering a film like EXODUS
(Raleigh, NC – December 1, 2014) — Faith Driven Consumer™, the group that first raised concerns over the economic viability of the NOAH movie given its failure to connect with its target audience, continues to serve as an advocate for more than 41 million consumers who spend $2 trillion annually. As 2014’s “Year of the Bible Movie” enters its final phase — and the run up to this month's release of Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated film EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS — Faith Driven Consumer continues to measure the success of Hollywood films courting faith-driven audiences. Faith Driven Consumer recently released the first wave of results from an extensive new national survey, conducted by partner research firm American Insights, detailing what EXODUS needs to do to be successful with both its core Faith Driven Consumer (17% of U.S. adult population) and broader Christian (77% of U.S. adult population) audiences. That research can be seen here.
In October, The Hollywood Reporter detailed concerns over EXODUS in the wake of controversial comments by actor Christian Bale — who plays Moses in the film — in which he characterized Moses as both “barbaric” and “schizophrenic.” Another story by ABC News on November 25th quoted Bale as saying “What would happen to Moses if he arrived today? Drones would be sent out after him, right?” Now, The New York Times is reporting that God appears in EXODUS as a “willful” 11-year-old boy who is “Children of the Corn terrifying.” Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone offers his reaction to this revelation by the NYT.
REACTION FROM BRAND STRATEGIST AND FAITH DRIVEN CONSUMER FOUNDER CHRIS STONE:
“The portrayal of God as a willful, angry and petulant child in EXODUS will be a deal breaker for most people of faith around the world. Christians, Jews and Muslims alike see this story as foundational and will find this false portrayal and image of God to be deeply incompatible both with scripture and their deeply-held beliefs.
“Ridley Scott is an established director who can essentially make whatever film he wants, but when he creates a film based on a pivotal Biblical story and renders it significantly unrecognizable, the marketplace will respond negatively. NOAH — a $125 million epic that failed to be faithful — left untold millions on the table. Rather than learning from Darren Aronofsky’s mistake, it seems that Mr. Scott, with his own larger, $200 million epic, has elected to double down.
“As a brand strategist, viewing it from the consumer’s perspective, I find many of Scott’s choices to be inconsistent with what the market wants. This is especially true given the significant untapped demand for these types of films — this one in particular. Evidently the filmmakers have a goal other than maximizing the film’s appeal and its monetary success. The decision to cast an 11-year-old boy to play God, in and of itself, is likely to have a significant impact on EXODUS' overall box office returns."
And a Little Child Shall Lead Them
‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Portrays the Deity as a Boy
LOS ANGELES — Ridley Scott’s 3-D “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has computer-generated plagues, waves and tornadoes. It has boat-chomping crocodiles, 400,000 digitally rendered Hebrew slaves and a sword-wielding Christian Bale as a “Gladiator”-like Moses.
But God may still steal the show.
“Exodus,” to be released on Dec. 12, preserves the awful severity of the Old Testament God — one who commands and demands — and does it all within the persona of a willful child. Mr. Scott uses an 11-year-old British actor, Isaac Andrews, to give voice and visage to his Almighty, rather than concealing the deity behind a pillar of fire, too terrible for the eye of man, as Cecil B. DeMille chose to do in his “Ten Commandments.”
And it is Mr. Andrews — stern-eyed, impatient, at times vaguely angelic and at times “Children of the Corn” terrifying — who is already beginning to challenge those who take their Bible seriously.
“It would be difficult for anyone who has any relationship with God and the Scripture to say this is O.K.,” said Chris Stone, a marketing consultant. His company, Faith Driven Consumer, helps to connect products, including movies, with observant Christians. The company was rebuffed, Mr. Stone said by way of disclosure, when it sought to become an adviser to the film, which he has not seen.
There was early evidence of a backlash against the movie in October, when Mr. Bale, speaking at a screening of “Exodus” footage for reporters, used the word “mercurial” to describe the Old Testament God and inadvertently created a smoldering problem for 20th Century Fox, which is releasing the film, on Christian and tabloid websites.
READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/29/movies/exodus-gods-and-kings-portrays-the-deity-as-a-boy.html?_r=0
About Faith Driven Consumer
Faith Driven Consumer™ leads a movement of more than 41 million Americans, 17% of the adult population, who spend $2 trillion dollars annually. The group educates, equips and motivates Faith Driven Consumers to action in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas—offering resources for making more faith-conscious decisions, including reviews of companies and entertainment products. Recognized for its #IStandWithPhil, #OpenZilla, #FlipThisDecision, #IStandwithHobbyLobby and #NoahMovie campaigns, the organization continues to serve as an advocate for people whose faith informs their daily decisions in the marketplace. For more information go to: www.faithdrivenconsumer.com.