The first time I heard about Gods of Egypt was yesterday afternoon when someone I follow on Twitter posted a link to the new trailer and merely commented, “What the hell is this movie?’
Turns out, it’s another one of those impossibly expensive Summit Entertainment action movies that Lionsgate ends up distributing, like I, Frankenstein, The Legend of Hercules and Ender’s Game. It’s about humans and Egyptian gods interacting and fighting in relatively cheap-looking CGI atmospheres. To be more specific, “The Egyptian god of darkness Set (Gerard Butler) takes over the throne of the Egyptian empire. A mortal hero, Bek (Brenton Thwaites), allies with the Egyptian god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in a mission to save the world and to rescue his love.” Oh, so kind of, sort of like Clash of the Titans with Eypgitan gods instead of Roman? Cool. Got it.
I can’t wait to hear Jason Mantouzkas refer to this movie as “garbage” on How Did This Get Made? next year. In fact, this looks like the type of movie which will be a mandatory addition to every “Let’s make fun of bad movies” podcast. However, if we can derive joy from a seemingly bad movie by cracking endless jokes about it is it truly a bad movie? Some movies are meant to be awarded, others enjoyed and yet others solely exist to be mocked/appreciated for their extreme camp value. Who cares if Gods of Egypt comes to us from the “visionary” director of I, Robot, or that it stars Jamie Lannister and the future Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)? Let’s just sit back and enjoy what The AV Club anticipates will be the best/dumbest movie ever.
Sure, it has box office bomb written all over it. We probably won’t be seeing this stay in theaters for very long. The bubble for this kind of movie burst somewhere between the Clash of the Titans remake in 2010 and 300: Rise of an Empire in 2014, and now the most recent sword and scorcery epics all flopped In fact, Gods of Egypt comes out February 2016, which is where Pompeii landed with a giant thud in 2014 (final tally: $23m dom./ $117m worldwdide).
Should Gods of Egypt replicated that fate, Lionsgate will wave away the failure by pointing out how they used tax incentives and foreign pre-sales to severely limit their financial exposure on that $140 million production budget. While Gerard Butler is on the promotional trail, we’ll all be keeping an eye on his interviews to see if anyone cuts through the bullshit and asks, “So, Gerard, why do you keep making so many bad movies?” And the podcasters and internet commenters of the world will crack jokes before asking themselves: Is Gods of Egypt so bad it’s good? Just straight-up terrible? Or way better than anyone expected? Wait. I don’t know how that last one got in there. There’s no way this movie turns out to be really, really good, is there? If so, then, well, this whole post will have been invalidated.
Prove me wrong, Gods of Egypt. Prove me wrong!
PS, remember all those years Sony spent developing a potential live-action God of War movie? Yeah, Gods of Egypt is probably what it would have ended up looking like. We might have dodged a bullet there, or we were robbed of awesomeness incarnate. Your take on that probably depends entirely on what you think of the Gods of Egypt trailer. Let me know in the comments..