Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) has started shooting Ben-Hur set up at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Paramount Pictures and heading to theaters on February 26, 2016. The new Ben-Hur stars Jack Huston as Judah Ben-Hur, Morgan Freeman as Ilderim, Toby Kebbell as Messala, and Nazanin Boniadi as Esther. The cast also includes Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus Christ, Sofia Black D’Elia as Tirzah, Ayelet Zurer as Naomi, Moises Arias as Gestas, and Pilou Asbæk as Pontius Pilate.
Keith Clarke and John Ridley adapted Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ for the screen and will serve as executive producers with Roma Downey and Jason Brown. Sean Daniel, Mark Burnett, Joni Levin, and Duncan Henderson are producing.
According to MGM and Paramount, Ben-Hur will shoot in Rome and Matera, Italy. “You could not have imagined a more perfect location to shoot this epic than Italy. We can’t wait to get started,” said Bekmambetov.
The original Ben-Hur film starring Charlton Heston and directed by William Wyler was released in 1959 and won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor.
The film returns to the heart of Lew Wallace’s epic novel focusing on the nature of faith. The story follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Both must come to choose between retribution or forgiveness.
-By Rebecca Murray
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