EXCLUSIVE: Don’t consider this etched in stone yet, but it looks like Fox is putting a rush on the Moses movie it has been developing with Ridley Scott. I’m hearing that the director and studio are courting Christian Bale to star. The project is called Exodus, which was originally scripted by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Peter Chernin and his Chernin Entertainment bought the film as a pitch and they are producing with Scott and his Scott Free, which joined later. Now it has become a big priority after Steve Zaillian signed on to do a rewrite. Zaillian teamed with Scott on American Gangster. Scott is looking to mobilize this as soon as he completes The Counselor. The talks with Bale are early stage.

This comes as Warner Bros deals with Steven Spielberg dropping out of its mega-Moses project, Gods And Kings, the epic-sized film about life of Moses based on the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. The studio’s Hail Mary pass is trying to secure the services of Ang Lee, fresh from his Oscar win for Life Of Pi.

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Bale is shooting the David O Russell untitled drama for Sony Pictures, starring with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Louis CK. He most recently completed the Scott Cooper-directed revenge thriller Out Of The Furnace with Zoe Saldana and Woody Harrelson, and has two Terrence Malick movies coming. He seems an inspiring choice to play Moses, given the breadth of his work in films like The Fighter. Coming off the Dark Knight trilogy with Christopher Nolan, Bale is making intriguing choices. And both 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. Bale’s repped by WME.