Egypt bans biblical epic 'Exodus'

Films that depict biblical figures have been prohibited before in the Muslim country.

The film stars Christian Bale. Picture: AFP.

LOS ANGELES - Egypt has banned Hollywood's big screen biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, a 20th Century Fox spokesman said on Friday.

The studio owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc declined to give a reason for the ban, but films that depict biblical figures have been prohibited before in the Muslim country.

Paramount Pictures' Bible tale Noah was banned in several countries in the Middle East this year for its depiction of a prophet, which is forbidden in Islam.

The film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Christian Bale, dramatises the Bible's Book of Exodus about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt.

Exodus, which has an estimated $140 million budget, has come under criticism for casting mostly white actors in the lead roles and some historical anachronisms.

Morocco has also reportedly banned the film, which has so far grossed $107 million in two weeks in worldwide release.

The film's ban comes as Sony Pictures faced a devastating cyber attack blamed on North Korea for The Interview, a raunchy comedy that depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.