CS Video: The Ben-Hur cast and crew
The film Ben-Hur (1959) is considered a cinema classic, winning 11 Academy Awards. On August 19, we’re getting a new version of the film based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” The original was directed by William Wyler and starred Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet, Jack Hawkins and Frank Thring. The new Ben-Hur cast was directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch), meaning that we’re going to see some crazy camera work and the famous chariot scene is going to rival any action flick out there.
In the August 19 release, Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) is a prince who’s family adopted a Roman child named Messala (Toby Kebbell). They’ve grown up as best friends, but Messala longs for a Roman way of life. He wants to prove himself in the Roman army and when he accuses Judah of treason, it sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in a vicious chariot race, revenge and forgiveness.
We recently got a chance to speak to Huston and Kebbell, as well as Rodrigo Santoro who plays Jesus, Nazanin Boniadi who plays Esther, Pilou Asbæk who plays Pontius Pilate, and producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. The Ben-Hur cast spoke about the aesthetic that Bekmambetov brought to the film and how he got those wild shots, as well as how the theme is far more about forgiveness than the original film, which was about revenge. Huston talked about how differently the animals were treated on this film (injuries were all digital, unlike the first film which killed a number of horses), shooting in Rome at Cinecittà studios where his grandfather John Huston shot The Bible and the original film was shot. He and Kebbell told us all about the insane training they had to put in because Bekmambetov wanted most of the chariot scene to be practical. The cast also talked about what the original film meant to them.
Check out our interviews below and let us know what you think in the comments. The Ben-Hur cast also includes Morgan Freeman, Eyelet Zurer and Sofia Black-D’Elia.