Ridley Scott’s upcoming Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings—which stars Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley—is facing a similar criticism as many other high-profile Hollywood Bible adaptations: Its casting of predominantly white actors. Now, in an interview with Yahoo, director Ridley Scott has addressed the controversy:

Egypt was—as it is now—a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture.

As SlashFilm points out, his answer isn’t exactly going over well with everyone. Along with commenting on the casting decisions, in the interview, Scott also discusses the religious tension that drew him to the Old Testament story: “The magnitude of Moses’s story, and what he believed, was very compelling. If you place yourself at that particular time—and it was savage times—to believe in one being or higher order, when the Egyptians had a thousand Gods, is incredible” ... Discuss

Hip-hop star André 3000, one part of Outkast’s dynamic duo, is thinking of retiring from music when he turns 40 in May. In an interview with The New York Times, he said, “I remember, at like 25, saying, 'I don't want to be a 40-year-old rapper.' I'm 39 now, and I'm still standing by that. I'm such a fan that I don't want to infiltrate it with old blood.” It remains to be seen exactly what that means for the rapper, as he also said he’d love to put out another album. The star has been famously reclusive over the years, popping up on the occasional guest verse, but largely staying out of the spotlight until this summer, when he reunited with Big Boi to play a string of festivals. He’s also starring as Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is by My Side this fall. So while he may be moving on from hip-hop, chances are we haven’t seen the last of the star ... Discuss

According to reports, ISIS—or the Islamic State as they are now referring to themselves—has released a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven J. Sotloff. Two weeks ago, the brutal Islamic militant group that controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria posted a video online depicting the beheading of American James Foley. Both men were freelance journalist who were captured in Syria. In a statement, Sotloff’s family said they believe the video was real. In the latest video, a man with a British accent, who The New York Times says is the same masked individual from the James Foley video, appears and says, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” before killing Sotloff. A week ago, Sotloff’s mother released a video, pleading with ISIS leaders to spare her son ... Discuss

Penn State junior Mary Krupa has been dubbed the campus "squirrel whisperer" after earning the trust of one of the college's many squirrels in residence. Mary has trained a squirrel she calls Sneezy to pose in dress-up clothes such as hats and sunglasses, even holding miniature props. Sneezy's Facebook page has almost seven times more likes than the school's own mascot, the Nittany Lion, provoking enough confusion to cause a German magazine to mistakenly report Sneezy as the school's mascot ...


If you miss the good ole days of MTV Rock ‘N Jock showdowns between pop stars and actual athletes, than we’ve got some good news for you. The line-up for the annual Pop vs. Jock charity basketball game has been announced, and the stars of your favorite indie bands are on board for the celebrity hoops challenge. On September 20, during the Pop Montreal festival, Arcade Fire’s Win and Will Butler (who organized the event) will join forces with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture and some friends to play against a team of local ballers. The event, which benefits a Canadian nonprofit youth club, goes down on the campus of Quebec’s McGill University. Don’t worry, if you can’t make the actual game, if it’s anything like past years, highlight reels of Win Butler jump shots will be posted online ... Discuss

In 2002, Fox canceled the live-action adaptation of Ben Edlund's comic book "The Tick" after only nine episodes. According to People.com, Amazon Studios may be willing to take a chance on Fox's sloppy seconds, this time leaving the series' fate to voting customers instead of network executives. Patrick Warburton (Family Guy, Seinfeld, Rules of Engagement) recently signed a deal with Amazon and Sony to bring back the blue superhero, with Edlund writing and producing. Fans of the cult classic also hope for a return of the rest of the original cast David Burke (Arthur), Liz Vassey (Captain Liberty) or Nestor Carbonell (Batmanuel), as well as Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood ... Discuss