UPDATE: While IMDB still lists the Exodus: Gods and Kings running time as three hours and 20 minutes, Fox reps are strenuously disputing the report (without saying what the actual running time is). My guess is, the cut isn’t quite finished yet, but it’s not going to be three hours and 20 minutes because that would be insane.
Last week, Fox was inviting critics to watch 50 minutes of Ridley Scott’s Biblical white dude epic, Exodus: Gods And Kings, which I turned down, because while I appreciate the glorification of white guys in eyeliner, who wants to watch half a movie? But that odd-sized, 50-minute chunk is starting to make a lot more sense now, as Exodus: Gods and Kings‘ IMDB page now lists the running time of the film at a preposterous three hours and 20 minutes. At that length, 50 minutes qualifies as an extended trailer. At three hours and 20 minutes, that would make it just 20 minutes shy of 1956’s The Ten Commandments, which had an intermission. You might as well just read the Old Testament.
Of course, as CinemaBlend points out, the length hasn’t yet been confirmed. My PR contact didn’t seem to know, but said “I am sure that’s wrong.”
In addition to the fact that IMDb can be untrustworthy at times, the length of Exodus: Gods And Kings‘ can always change between now and the film’s release date of December 12th. It wouldn’t be too much of a shock if Fox asked Ridley Scott to cut his film to a more theatrically-friendly running time, only to let the project loose in its more complete form on Blu-ray and DVD. That exact fate befell his last religious period epic, the 2005 Orlando Bloom vehicle Kingdom Of Heaven. While the original 144 minute cut was a mixed bag with audiences and critics, the 189 minute version that hit home video was treated with a much kinder welcome. [CinemaBlend]
Look, I’m all for artistic freedom, but nothing’s going to make me root for a three hour and 20 minute movie. At three hours 20, it better be the goddamned Godfather. And that’s hard to expect given Ridley Scott’s more recent output. It’s hard to expect a Godfather when we just got done talking about Kingdom of Heaven, for instance. The longest films all seem to be these epic costume dramas, and sometimes I wonder if all the work it takes to create each shot keeps directors from being as ruthless as they normally are/need to be during the editing process. It’s kind of like when I make myself a really good sandwich. You think I’m going to throw it out just because it gets a little moldy? Hell no, I spent like 20 minutes on that thing.
[hat tip: Reddit]