Ben-Hur is an epic of biblical proportions, so naturally it has a cast of biblical figures to round out the cast. Among them is Jesus Christ himself, a role that has been played by actors far and wide with varying degrees of gravitas. With the new remake moving along, the role has once again been filled.
Jack Huston has been confirmed as the titular-star for Timur Bekmambetovís re-make of the 1959 classic, Ben-Hur. The Boardwalk Empire actor will also be joined in the epic by Morgan Freeman, who has been announced as Idldarin, the man who transforms Ben-Hur from a slave into a champion chariot racer.
The chariots are calling Loki, and the Avengers villain just might answer. MGM is digging deep into its back catalog to resurrect Ben-Hur for a new audience, under the stewardship of director Timur Bekmambetov. It stands to reason that the part would be one of the most highly in-demand in Hollywood, and MGM surely could have gone with a big name, or a fresh face. Instead, they might be splitting the difference, eying a man familiar to most audiences, but still as-yet-untested in a lead role.
The Transformers date strikes me as the most aggressive, particularly is Michael Bay finally decides that he is finished with Autobots and Decepticons, and is ready to move on to more non-Transformers material.
After years of scripting a wide array of television shows including the crime-drama series Third Watch and sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The John Larroquette Show, writer John Ridley has made his mark in movies with the universally lauded new drama 12 Years a Slave. And while the film readies for its theatrical expansion in the coming weeks, Ridley is landing a big new project with MGM.
Adapting hit books into movies is nothing new, and neither is remaking hit movies themselves-- both have been going on since the very, very beginning of the film industry. But it's rare to see something adapted, recycled and remade as often as Ben-Hur, which started as a huge bestselling book published in 1880 and has been adapted as two silent films, one sound one (the big one starring Charlton Heston)
Long before filmmakers had access to the finest digital effects the industry has to offer, they had to get creative with matte paintings to blend like actors into locations and environments that couldnít be achieved in real life.
The studio has purchased a spec script by Keith Clarke (Peter Weir's The Way Back), which goes back to the 1880 Lew Wallace novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, for the story instead of the most famous adaptation. MGM actually released the original, but since lost the rights. The book, however, is in the public domain, which means they don't have to pay to use it. The new version is said to be "much different" than Wyler's film, though no specific details are given.