From the director of ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,’ comes an all-new ‘Ben-Hur!’ No, for reals. The chariots are off and running as Paramount and MGM announced today that production on their remake of William Wyler’s classic Bible epic ‘Ben-Hur’ is officially underway in Italy.
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.
If you don't know Toby Kebbell, you soon will. The 32-year-old actor recently finished production on Josh Trank's 'Fantastic Four' reboot, in which he plays the villainous Doctor Doom, and he also played bad ape Koba in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.' In continuing this streak of villainy, Kebbell is looking to become the antagonist in the 'Ben-Hur' remake.
Although it was rumored that Tom Hiddleston was being eyed for the leading role in director Timur Bekmambetov's upcoming remake of 'Ben-Hur,' it seems the epic redo has found its leading man: 'Boardwalk Empire' star Jack Huston. Oh, sorry, guess you might not recognize him unless he's missing half of his face.
A remake of 'Ben-Hur' has been in development for a little while now, with a planned release date in early 2016. And now the new film from director Timur Bekmambetov is eyeing the fiercely awesome Tom Hiddleston to take the reigns of the chariot in the leading role.
We've been hearing buzz about some of Paramount's major plans for a while now, but the studio finally confirmed their 2016 release line-up recently at CineEurope (the European version of CinemaCon, a major theater convention), and included on the list are lots of sequels, like 'Beverly Hills Cop 4,' 'Transformers 5,' and -- wait, what's this? -- 'Paranormal Activity 5,' which has been bumped back once again.
By the end of the 1950's, the studio system had been rocked by television, and MGM was on the ropes fiscally. They put a lot of stock in 1959's 'Ben-Hur,' which paid off big time. 'Ben-Hur' became one of their biggest hits (adjusted for inflation it's number thirteen on the all time list), and won eleven Oscars. Now that MGM is successful after 'Skyfall,' they're going to return to 'Ben-Hur' and remake it.