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David & 'Goliath' coming to a big screen near you

“Should this be true, I assume that they will probably use digital effects to make The Rock even bigger (some manuscripts have the giant standing at almost 10 feet tall), but I think that [Taylor] Lautner isn’t right for this part. While he’s only 5’10”, which puts him in the average category with American men, the big problem is that his six pack abs are his most famous feature. The whole point of the David and Goliath story is to pit the weak against the strong, and they pick a young actor who spends 90% of his time shirtless on screen? I understand it’s a ploy to draw in the Twilight crowd, but they should at least be trying to respect the story a little.” ~CinemaBlend

Osmar Schindler (1869-1927): David und Goliath, 1888
News came yesterday that Dwayne Johnson is in talks to star as the giant Philistine in Scott Derrickson’s Goliath, which will bring the epic biblical tale to the big screen (maybe 300-style).  David is one of the most intriguing and larger-than-life characters in scripture. He was the subject of Kings, a short-lived but very interesting television series staring Ian McShane as Saul and Chris Egon as David that retold the story in a modern fictional kingdom. I’ve long thought a serious take on David's story would be a fascinating one for the modern big screen.

What’s also intriguing (and, yes, even entertaining) about biblical stories getting the small or big screen treatment are the articles that start to crop up around it—like CinemaBlend’s above. While they reference “manuscript” research on Goliath, they seemed to have skipped the parts about David, which describe him as “the very picture of health— bright-eyed, good-looking”  and who, when facing a lion or bear in the course of guarding his father’s sheep, would “grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it.” Doesn't sound like a wimp to me.

But who can blame ‘em? For far too many of us, our knowledge of biblical stories—especially the ones in the Old Testament—comes from what we remember from Sunday School, where they are often watered down to a rated G status. The price of that is losing important aspects of the stories (like the fact that David wasn’t a pudgy little boy but robust and accustomed to violence). If we spend any time at all in the original stories, we begin to discover rich, multifaceted and deeply engaging stories fraught with complexity and adult themes and situations (which often reflect a PG rating at the very least, if not rated R). They make us wrestle with hard questions—which is what all good stories do.

So I, for one, am eager to see what Derrickson can bring to the table on this one. Given his background, I’m thinking he’ll respect the original story instead of the one we remember from Sunday School. And that will be worth seeing.

Update: Then again, maybe not, heh. Here's a summary of the film from /Films:
The story is set in motion when the fierce warrior Goliath is sent to track down a foretold king of the Israelites. A young shepherd David is thrust into an epic chase and adventure fighting for his own life, the lives of his loved ones and eventually the lives of his people. The story climaxes in a battle of literal Biblical proportions between the young man and the giant sent to destroy him.
Well, that's definitely a twist I've not heard before. But, I must admit, I still find it more interesting than some of the Sunday School versions I've been exposed to, heh.

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