‘Ben-Hur’ will come to light on August 19


Ben-Hur is a 2016 American epic historical action drama film directed by Timur Bekmambetov and written by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. It is the fifth film adaptation of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. The film stars are Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer and Rodrigo Santoro.

Principal photography of the film began on February 2, 2015 in Rome, Italy and lasted for about six months, finishing in August 2015. The film is scheduled to be released on August 19, 2016 in the United States in 2D, 3D, RealD 3D, Digital 3D and IMAX 3D.

In the film, audience will find Jack Huston acted as Judah Ben-Hur. A Jewish prince in Roman-occupied Jerusalem who is betrayed and falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala and is sentenced to a life of slavery. Ben-Hur loses everything and spends five years in the galley of a Roman slave ship and later takes on the Roman Empire and avenges his adoptive brother in a grand chariot race while finding redemption and being forever changed after a series of encounters with Jesus Christ.

Huston said he felt “incredibly honored to be stepping into Charlton Heston’s sandals.” He was initially offered the role of Messala, but director Bekmambetov decided instead he had the sympathetic manner and grit to play the title role.

Bekmambetov found Huston to be an actor who not only was a “well-built, experienced horseman” but one who “felt like he was born in that era.” He said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Jack’s many famous ancestors took part in an actual fight between Romans and Judaeans we depict in our film.”

Morgan Freeman will appear as Sheik Ilderim. A wealthy Nubian sheik who trains Ben-Hur to become a charioteer to take revenge on his brother, Messala. Producer Daniel spoke about saying that “the movie business was never as global as it is today, so it makes sense from a creative and commercial point of view to do this movie for the whole world.”

Toby Kebbell will appear as Messala-an officer in the Roman army and Ben-Hur’s childhood friend and adoptive brother who betrays him.

Rodrigo Santoro will be seen as Jesus. Unlike in the original film, Christ will have a prominent role in this version. ‘Paramount Pictures’ vice chairman, Rob Moore, stated that Christ in this version “is going to be consistent with people’s expectations,” and that the “expectations of the faithful will be honored by this one.” This was because Paramount wants to avoid the sort of backlash received by Darren Aronofsky’s Noah because some Christians were dismayed by the film’s inventive and inaccurate interpretation of the Bible.

Ben-Hur was originally planned to be released on February 26, 2016 in the United States and Canada but Paramount later moved it to August 12, 2016. At the 2016 CinemaCon, Paramount again shifted its release date a week later to August 19, 2016 and its previous date was occupied by Paramount’s own Florence Foster Jenkins. It will be released in regular 2D, IMAX, 3D, Digital 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D. It is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on September 7, a week after its U.S. premiere. According to Variety, this decision to switch from February to August may have been due to the studio’s faith in summer being the best time to unspool a tentpole epic.


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