‘Ben-Hur’ Casts Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ
This ‘Ben-Hur’ remake is collecting quite an impressive cast—Jack Huston is set to play the lead role, with Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal, and Morgan Freeman in supporting roles. And now the film has finally found its Jesus in ‘300’ star Rodrigo Santoro. The guy’s got some big sandals to fill, that’s for sure.
Variety reports that Santoro, who also stars in the upcoming film ‘Focus,’ has joined the cast of ‘Ben-Hur’ in the role of Jesus. The film is being helmed by ‘Wanted’ director Timur Bekmambetov, and is based on the classic novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.’ It’s said that this version will be more faithful to the source material than the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston. ‘12 Years a Slave’ writer John Ridley revised the screenplay from Keith Clarke, and will also act as executive producer.
‘Ben-Hur’ centers on Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur and his best friend Messala, the son of a Roman tax collector. Following the Roman takeover of Jerusalem, their friendship is torn apart when Messala betrays Judah and sells him into slavery, where he must gain his freedom through a harrowing chariot race. As in the original novel, the new film will feature a parallel story centering on Jesus Christ and his betrayal at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
Huston plays the role of Ben-Hur, while Kebbell has been cast as Messala. Morgan Freeman stars as Ildarin, the man who trains Judah Ben-Hur to become a champion chariot-racer. Pedro Pascal will play Pontius Pilate, while ‘Man of Steel’ star Ayelet Zurer was recently cast in the role of Naomi. Rounding out the cast are Olivia Cooke, Nazanin Boniadi, and Sofia Black-D’Elia.
‘Ben-Hur’ is scheduled for release on February 26, 2016.