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Ben Hur is a story of literally biblical proportions, so any time Hollywood chooses to tell said story ends up being a huge effort in and of itself. The 2016 remake is no exception, as director Timur Bekmambetov looks to be pulling out all the stops with his version of this tale of brotherly vengeance. Nowhere is this more evident than the 360 degree view that the film has provided of the most memorable moment of any version of the story: the chariot race. Take a look at this awesome spectacle below.
Paramount and MGM have released this unique look at one of Ben Hur's chariot races, through the courtesy of the film's official Facebook page, and it's quite a sight to see. If you take the time and explore the full panorama on display, you'll see Judah Ben Hur riding to victory, while his competition is wiping out in the background. With the advance of VR headset technology, you'll probably get more out of this image, though we must admit, it'd be even more impressive if this was a moving image rather than static. Baby steps, we guess.
The studios couldn't have picked a better time to release this look, as Comic Con is looking to rev up its engines, and Ben Hur is most assuredly a film that could use as much press as it can get in the coming weeks. With the film scheduled to open on August 19th, it hasn't exactly gotten the biggest marketing push that a film of it stature would normally receive. While we're not sure if the film will make an appearance at the Con, it wouldn't be too surprising if there were VR helmets showing off this image, as well as a couple centurions manning their stations, in hopes for a quick photo-op.
Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire fame is playing the titular role of Judah Ben Hur, while Toby Kebbell from Fantastic Four and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be playing Messala, the adopted brother who betrays him and begins his path of struggle and eventually spiritual redemption. Rounding out this already powerful casting is Morgan Freeman, in the role of Sheik Ilderim, the man who would help Judah Ben Hur become the charioteer that we know today.
With this being the fourth version of the Ben Hur story, Timur Bekmambetov has lot riding on his version of the already iconic story. It certainly doesn't help that the film will be released in the month of August, which looks like it pretty much belongs to Suicide Squad lock, stock, and barrel. Though its third weekend positioning may help the film take a close second place, if not a first place finish by a hair. They might win at the chariot races, but Warner Bros' gang of misfits turned crime fighters look to have a pretty heavy arsenal in their possession.
Ben Hur tries its luck at the races on August 19th.