They are remaking the classic film, Ben-Hur, but don't expect director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) to make the same film as the 1959 classic. The upcoming adaptation will utilize Lew Wallace's book, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ more than the previous film. So expect the movie to not shy away from the themes of faith and to realize biblical characters more fully. Especially with the success of biblical themed films such as Noah recently. John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) has rewritten the script for the film which is expected to open in early 2016.
Last week Morgan Freeman was the first announced member for the production, who's casting immediately set a precedent for the level of the quality they are looking to achieve with the picture. Freeman is to play Ilderim, the figure who mentors Ben-Hur and shows him how to ride a chariot like a boss. That left the main character unnamed. According to Deadline, MGM and Paramount have settled on their lead:
MGM and Paramount have found Ben-Hur. The studios are setting Jack Huston, and you just knew he was going to get a big, star-making film role after his portrayal of the masked, war-scarred assassin Richard Harrow on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. It would be hard to imagine a bigger-scale picture than Ben-Hur, with Timur Bekmambetov directing the epic remake in Europe next year.
Huston indeed has been in talks for a lot of lead roles, including as Marvel's Doctor Strange. Perhaps he has benefited from Tom Hiddleston taking the lead role in Skull Island, since he was rumored to be the top choice for Ben-Hur. In any case, this could be the role of a lifetime for Huston. Russell Crowe took his career to a new stratosphere with his swords and sandals epic, Gladiator, surely Huston is aware of the potential. Particularly with a story, film and title as iconic as Ben-Hur, all eyes will indeed be on Huston
The remake of [Ben-Hur](movie:818296) opens on February 26th, 2016. Are you down with swords and sandals historical style epics? Let us know on the comment boards, Facebook and Twitter!
Source: Point of Geeks, Deadline