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.

According to Deadline, MGM and Paramount are looking at Tom Hiddleston for the leading role of Judah Ben-Hur in their remake of 'Ben-Hur,' based on the 1880 novel 'Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.' The leading role was previously played by Charlton Heston in the classic 1959 film, but the book has since become public domain, making it easy to re-adapt. Bekmambetov, who previously directed 'Wanted' and 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' is on board to direct the film, which has a scheduled release date of February 26, 2016.

It's said that the new version of the film will be more faithful to the book, which included a plot about Jesus Christ, which parallels Judah Ben-Hur's feud with Messala -- two men who grew up as best friends until the Roman takeover of Jerusalem drove them apart. When Messala, the son of a Roman tax collector goes away to receive his education in Rome, he returns a different man; one who scorns his old pal Judah's religion and upbringing.

Hiddleston isn't necessarily locked down for the part just yet -- he's also got some other projects competing for his time, including the upcoming film 'Me Before You.' The latest draft of that film was scripted by John Ridley, who won the Oscar for his work on the screenplay for '12 Years a Slave.' And after his wildly popular turn as Loki in the 'Thor' films and 'The Avengers,' Hiddleston is in pretty high demand.

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