12 Years a Slave’s John Ridley to Draft Ben-Hur

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First announced earlier this year, MGM is planning a new adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Following word in August that Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov is set to helm comes news today, via Variety, that 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley will provide the screenplay.

Wallace’s text has been previously adapted for the stage, screen and radio with William Wyler’s 1959 feature film version the most well-known today. The new adaptation began as a spec script by Keith Clarke (The Way Back) and follows Wallace’s original novel and the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince sold into slavery who then vows revenge against the man responsible. Set in the early years of the first century, Ben-Hur’s struggles parallel those of Jesus Christ.

Sean Daniel and Joni Levin are producing with Clarke and Jason Brown executive producing.

(Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN.com)