Katie Atkinson
July 08, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT


We’ve seen director Ridley Scott do the whole swords-and-sandals thing before, in 2000’s Gladiator, but now he’s going even further back in time with Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Christian Bale plays a pre-Ten Commandments Moses, going head-to-head with Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) to free hundreds of thousands of slaves. Watch the first trailer for the biblical epic below:

Bale told EW’s Sara Vilkomerson that he wasn’t trying to be the second coming of Charlton Heston in the movie. “Charlton Heston does Charlton Heston better than anyone,” he said. “But the biblical account of Moses is extraordinary, and there was lots of room for us to go to places that [Heston’s movie] The Ten Commandments never dreamed of going.”

Exodus, also starring Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, and John Turturro, is set to hit theaters on Dec. 12.

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