Rodrigo Santoro, well known for playing Xerxes in both 300 and its sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, has been cast as Jesus Christ in MGM and Paramount’s upcoming Ben-Hur remake. The Hollywood Reporter has the news, bringing word that Santoro will join Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, Olivia Cooke, Ayelet Zurer, Nazanin Boniadi and, in the title role, Jack Huston.
Set for a release on February 26, 2016, the new take on Ben-Hur was originally scripted by Keith Clarke (The Way Back), with revisions by Academy Award-winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). It is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 epic novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ.”
The film is said to return to the heart of the epic novel with a focus 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.
Santoro has also had roles in recent big screen releases like The Last Stand, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Rio 2. He can be seen opposite Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus and opposite Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor in Jane Got a Gun. He’s also part of the cast of HBO’s upcoming Michael Crichton adaptation, “Westworld.”
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, Ben-Hur is produced by Mark Burnett, Sean Daniel and Joni Levin with Jason F. Brown, Keith Clarke, Roma Downey and John Ridley serving as executive producers.
(Photo Credit: Brian To / WENN.com)