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Goliath vs. David

Goliath vs. David

Exciting news on Scott Derrickson’s upcoming movie, Goliath:

Dwayne Johnson has been offered the titular role in ‘Goliath’.

The 39-year-old actor – who stands at 6ft 5in tall – is an advanced negotiations to play the Biblical character in the Scott Derrickson-directed epic for Relativity Media and Temple Hill Entertainment.

Taylor Lautner has been offered the part of David in the classic tale, which is being worked on by ‘Twilight’ producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, according to Twitch

“Dwayne Johnson to play Goliath?” stv, 31 August 2011

The news was broken by Twitch:

Is the world ready for the return of the Biblical epic? Because it’s coming…. If you’re going to tell the story of the giant versus the shepherd boy you’d best find yourself an impressive giant and it would appear that Relativity have done just that with sources telling Twitch that they are now in talks with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to fill the role. As for the other side of the standoff things are not as advanced but word is that an offer has been made to Taylor Lautner to fill the part of David, which comes as no surprise given that Twilight producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are also involved in this project.
– Todd Brown,BREAKING: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson In Talks For GOLIATH, Taylor Lautner Offered David“, Twitch, 30 August 2011

Total Film reports:

For the Godless heathens amongst you, Goliath will be an adaptation of the famous Bible story in which the young future King of Israel must go on the run from a fearsome warrior who has been sent to kill him.
– “Dwayne Johnson to play Goliath, TotalFilm.com, 31 August 2011

Well, not quite. In the Bible, in 1 Samuel 17, David is never “on the run” from Goliath. Rather, in 1 Samuel 17, when Goliath challenges Saul’s Israelite army to send out their best warrior against him, this is the first time that David has encountered Goliath. However, the script writers for the movie Goliath thought it would add to the drama and tension if David and Goliath had a bit of a prehistory together. So, contrary to Total Film’s godless heathen misrepresentation of the Bible, the plotline of a young future King of Israel on the run from a warrior out to kill him comes from script writers, John D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

What about the respective heights of the two actors?

Official confirmation has yet to arrive, but for our money, Johnson would make for a pretty formidable Goliath. Presumably some CGI will have to be involved (Goliath should dwarf David rather more considerably than the ratio between Johnson and Lautner)
– “Dwayne Johnson to play Goliath, TotalFilm.com, 31 August 2011
But TotalFilm is not necessarily right: Goliath, according to the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, should be about 6′ 9″. And as the Bible describes David as a bit of a shorty, he would probably be no more than about 5-feet tall. That is, David and Goliath would have looked a lot like Kim Kardashian alongside Kris Humphries. However, as Moviefone reports, this is not a terribly long way from the actual height difference between Johnson and Lautner:
They might not even need CGI for this thing: Johnson stands at an impressive 6’5″ while Lautner is a relatively puny 5’10”
– Sharon Knolle, “The Rock Gets Biblical: Dwayne Johnson and Taylor Lautner in Talks for ‘David and Goliath’“, moviefone, 31 August 2011
However, there’s a big qualifier to this. If the movie producers take account of the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Bible, where Goliath is a gigantic 9′ 7″, some CGI will definitely be required – presuming they won’t just rely on forced perspective. Besides, Johnson’s non-Philistine tattoos still need to get removed.