With Danish looker Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Scotsman Gerard Butler attached, Gods of Egypt should be renamed “Hot and Fabulous Gods of wherever-they-are-is-the-place-to-be.” The film, which is not anticipated to hit theaters until February 2016, will feature magic and monsters, grand palaces and pyramids, and at least four matinee idols. Based on Egyptian mythology, the sweeping adventure story will, of course, have a plot line whereby the heroes prevent the destruction of mankind.
Gerard Butler, as the evil god Set, has seized the throne of Egypt, inflicting chaos, violence and despair on the formerly peaceful kingdom. Youthful Aussie Brenton Thwaites, is a thief, who leads a band of bold but mortal rebels. They take on Set to defend their homeland and bring the young man’s beloved (Courtney Eaten) back from the dead. Horus (Coster-Woldau), another powerful Egyptian god, allies with the mortals in their quest to defeat the malevolent Set. A great battle ensues, crossing the boundaries between life and afterlife, in which the courage of all is tested.
In Egyptian mythology, the pantheon of gods had various jurisdictions of responsibility, not unlike those of the better-known Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. Gerard Butler’s hot god of Egypt, Set, is the god of chaos, who is the great enemy of harmony.
It was said that Set killed his brother, Osiris, and then fought his nephew, Horus, for power over the living. Certain Egyptian rulers chose the chaotic one as their personal totem (sounds like Mohammad Morsi.)
Coster-Woldau’s character of Horus, is the hawk god, who lives in the sky and protects Egypt. According to most commonly held Egyptian beliefs, Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis.
In the battle between Set and Horus, Horus loses an eye. The restoration of Horus’ eye became the symbol of his protection over Egypt. It also adorns every dollar bill.
Gods of Egypt is in pre-production at Fox Studios in Sydney. The producers at one point were also negotiating to shoot part of the film at Docklands Studio in Melbourne. The director, Alex Proyas, has worked in Melbourne on past projects, but Docklands was all booked, and was only able to offer a sound stage, which Proyas referred to as “the airport.” By contrast, the New South Wales State Investment Attraction Scheme has made a deal with the producers to shoot the $150 million feature at Fox in Sydney.
Ten years ago, Proyas attempted to film I, Robot in Australia. But Canada offered financial incentives that were too good to decline. Production of the science fiction hit was done instead under a maple leaf shingle.
The deputy premier of New South Wales is pleased to have Gods of Egypt shot in his state. He estimates the production will create about 400 film industry related jobs and add approximately $75 million to the state’s economy.
Proyas previously planned to shoot an adaptation of Paradise Lost, the epic poem by John Milton, with Bradley Cooper slated to play Lucifer. Production was to be in Australia, but the project was canned over budget issues. The loss of Paradise was a great heartbreak for the director. But having been born in Egypt, he has always wanted to make a movie set in his homeland, and it appears Gods of Egypt will be a hot choice.
By Melissa Roddy