Tom Hiddleston Approached For Lead In Ben-Hur Remake
Posted by Joseph Lee on 08.12.2014
It arrives in 2016...
Deadline reports that MGM, Paramount and director Timur Bekmambetov have set a release date of Feburary 26, 2016 for the remake of Ben-Hur and are currently looking at Tom Hiddleston to star as Judah Ben-Hurt. The film will be another adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hurt: A Tale of the Christ, the biggest selling-novel of all time until it was surpassed by Gone With The Wind.
Hiddleston is currently being approached for a variety of roles, including MGM's Me Before You. Keith Clarke (Peter Weir's The Way Back) wrote the script that MGM acquired after returning from bankruptcy with hits like Skyfall and The Hobbit. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will produce with Sean Daniel and Joni Levin. Clarke and Jason Brown will executive produce. John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) wrote the most recent draft.
The film was previously made as the 1959 movie Ben-Hur, which starred Charlton Heston. Before that, it was a 1925 film called Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. Wallace's book is public domain which means that anyone can make a movie of it. The film will focus more on the book than the William Wyler film did in 1959. It plays up a parallel storyline between Ben-Hur and Jesus Christ.
Ben-Hur is involved in a feud with Messala. The two grew up as best friends before the Roman Empire took Jerusalem. Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala was the son of a Roman tax collector. After Messala leaves for Rome for his education over the course of five years, he comes back and mocks Judah for his religion. Messala then betrays his friend and uses an accident (involving a roof tile falling and hitting the governor) to get him sold into slavery, with his mother and sister given life imprisonment. Judah plans to get revenge and this eventually leads to the film's chariot race.