[05/10/05 - 12:00 AM]
ABC and Hallmark Entertainment to Begin Production on "The Ten Commandments"

[via press release from ABC]


International Cast Features Dougray Scott, Omar Sharif, �Lost�s� Naveen Andrews and �Alias�� Mia Maestro

Morocco Chosen as Biblical Backdrop for Blockbuster Re-telling of This Classic Epic

The ABC Television Network and Hallmark Entertainment today announced that production on �The Ten Commandments,� a four-hour miniseries, will begin May 23. The two-part epic, the product of months of painstaking biblical and historical research to present the story of �Exodus� and offer an authentic portrayal of 13th century B.C. Egypt, will be shot over a ten-week period on location in Ouarzazate, Morocco. �The Ten Commandments� will air during the 2005-06 season on ABC.

The stellar international cast -- an exciting combination of seasoned motion picture veterans and promising newcomers -- features Dougray Scott (�Ever After,� ABC/Hallmark�s �Arabian Nights�) as Moses, Omar Sharif (�Doctor Zhivago,� �Lawrence of Arabia,� �Hidalgo�) as Jethro, Naveen Andrews (�Lost,� �Bride and Prejudice�) as Menerith, Linus Roache (�The Chronicles of Riddick�) as Aaron and Mia Maestro (�Alias�) as Zipporah.

This is the story of Moses -- one of the most revered figures in our world�s religions -- the man who rose in power to defend a people, to free them and to live in history like no other.

A time of danger approaches for the entire Kingdom -- danger from a child who will become a Prince of Egypt. With a soothsayer�s dire prophecy, the Pharaoh orders the slaughter of all newborn males. But one child, Moses, born of Hebrew slave Amram and his wife, Jochebed, is relinquished to the care of others to ensure his safety. Raised by Princess Bithia in a royal Egyptian household and with no memory of his true family, Moses has risen to the stature of Prince. Upon discovery of his heritage, and inspired by a fiery message from God, he implores his stepbrother, Menerith, a high official in Ramses� army, to join him in a fight to reclaim his destiny as leader and liberator of the Hebrew people.

But when Ramses rejects his demands for his personal quest, Moses issues the curse of a coming plague. From a swarming cloud of locusts to a river transformed into a rushing stream of human blood to a downpour of frogs from the heavens, the prophesized scourge has been unleashed. Moses has taken the first step toward accomplishing his mission. Charting the dramatic story of the Hebrew leader -- from his narrow escape from death as a child to his role as an emancipator of slaves to the parting of the Red Sea -- �The Ten Commandments� unfolds with all the spectacle, violent human drama and grand inspiration that has earned this its stature as the greatest story ever told.

Robert Dornhelm (�Anne Frank,� USA Network�s �Spartacus,� �Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story�) will direct the script by Ron Hutchinson (�The Island of Dr. Moreau,� �Traffic�). Robert Halmi, Sr. will executive-produce. �The Ten Commandments� is a production of Hallmark Entertainment.

  [may 2005]  


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