Watch an Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Look at Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton in 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'

The word “epic” gets thrown around a lot these days, so much so that folks tend to forget that back in the golden age of Hollywood, an epic film was, well, epic.

Big scale, big stars, big sets, big budget, big expectations. These things were rare and when they came along, people took notice.

Director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) is hoping to restore the old-school epic to its past glory with Exodus: Gods and Kings, a biblical tale starring Christian Bale as Moses and a nearly unrecognizable Joel Edgerton as Rhamses. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette, above, Scott explains why he was drawn to the ages-old tale: “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love,” Scott explains. “The idea that they were brothers, and then rivals…was very interesting.”

For most cinephiles, the role of Moses could only be played by the late, great Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments, but Bale is hoping to bring a different kind of feel and look to the role. For example, the Dark Knight star won’t wear a fake beard a la Heston.

While anticipation is running high, the film, which also stars Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver, and Aaron Paul has run into some controversy over its use of a largely white cast. Edgerton responded to the criticism, saying that while it would have been very hard to say no to the job, he is “sensitive to it” and does “empathize with that position.” Audiences will make up their own minds when Exodus opens Dec. 12.