Word is MGM, Paramount and director Timur Bekmambetov are courting Tom Hiddleston to star in Bekmambetov’s questionable Ben-Hur remake with Hiddleston to play the title role of Judah Ben-Hur. Of course, I’m sure the word “remake” is something the production will avoid considering they wouldn’t likely want to be compared to William Wyler‘s 1959, Charlton Heston-led classic. Then again, with all the CGI that’s likely to be used I doubt there will be much of a comparison to be made.
Like the 1959 version and the 1925 silent film, this one will be an adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ” and the screenplay was written by Keith R. Clarke (The Way Back). Clarke’s version is said to hue more closely to the book than previous versions, playing up a parallel storyline involving Jesus Christ along with the blood feud between Ben-Hur and Messala.
As much as I don’t think this film needs to be made, Hiddleston seems like a wonderful choice. However, I’m concerned. Concerned because I think Bekmambetov’s idea of “big” and “epic” involves tons of CG sets and action, allowing for the digital artists to do the heavy lifting rather than him having to do much of anything on set. This isn’t a film that should feel glossy or picture perfect, it should be gritty, natural colors. In fact, pretty much the opposite of what we’ve Exodus: Gods and Kings.
The Ben-Hur remake is set for a February 26, 2016 release. [Deadline]