"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The race is on between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, who are competing to produce two big-budget movies both set around the Bible. While the Warner Bros. project, “Gods and Kings,” remains without a director (the film just lost legendary director Steven Spielberg, though “Life of Pi” director Ang Lee may take over), however, Fox’s “Exodus,” directed by Ridley Scott, is already in its casting phase.
Deadline is reporting that “Batman” trilogy actor Christian Bale has been tapped to play the film’s lead, Moses. Talks between Bale and producers are still in early stages, however. Steve Zaillian, the screenwriter for Scott’s “American Gangster,” will rewrite the script originally penned by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage.
Deadline speculates as to why the production studios are suddenly so focused on the story of the Bible:
“Fox and Paramount have surely noticed the ratings on History Channel’s ‘The Bible’ miniseries. There is certainly a global audience for a retelling of the Moses story with the technological advancements made since Charlton Heston played him in the 1956 ’Ten Commandments,’ a film that was one of the biggest blockbusters of its time.”
And, though thematically related, the two films will have very different treatments. From the Guardian:
“Spielberg’s Moses film was previously described as an epic biopic of the Israelite leader in a gritty Braveheart-meets-Saving-Private-Ryan style. Scott, meanwhile, was expected to plump for a detailed reworking which would focus on the minutiae of his subject’s life, such as the leader’s relationship with Pharaoh Rameses II, as well as more famous episodes.”
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.More Prachi Gupta.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)