LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Egypt has banned Christian Bale's "Exodus: Gods and Kings" a week before its planned New Year's Eve release, according to 20th Century Fox.
A report from the Egyptian site Mobtada said censors issued the ban due to movie's "historical inaccuracies."
Those included the film's depiction of Jews as having built the Pyramids and the Biblical story of a miracle by Moses causing the Red Sea to part so that the Jewish people could escape from the pursuing Egyptian army.
Egyptian cultural minister Gaber Asfour said the depiction of Jewish slaves as being the builders of the Great Sphinx and Pyramids is inaccurate because the monuments are accepted to have been built around 2540 B.C. -- 500 years before Abraham, the father of Judaism.
"This totally contradicts proven historical facts," Asfour said.
"It is a Zionist film," he said. "It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies, and that's why we have decided to ban it."
Ridley Scott's movie, based on the Bible's Book of Exodus, stars Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses.
"Exodus" has grossed nearly $46 million in its first two weeks in the U.S. and another $62 million from 39 international markets.
Earlier this year, Egypt banned another Biblical epic, "Noah," asserting it violated Islam by portraying a prophet.