Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Movie News

Seth Grahame-Smith Directing Warner Bros.' Flash
He'll also write the film
First Still From The Journey Released
Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley and Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness
Bel Powley Joins Wilding
Co-starring in the elevated horror thriller
Ellie Kendrick Cast In The Levelling
Game Of Thrones actress starring in flood drama
Transformers Franchise Planned Up To Part 8
Ten more years in the works
Sam Smith's Spectre Theme Released
UPDATE: Now with promo video
More Movie News

13 January 2015
Sofia Black-D’Elia Joins Ben-Hur
She'll be his sister, Tirzah
More Movie News

Ben Hur
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

MGM Sets Up New Ben Hur
Back to the chariots!

15 January 2013  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Deadline

submit to reddit

There was a time when it looked like MGM would have to sell off everything and stop producing films. Now, with cash flowing in from Skyfall and The Hobbit, the studio is once more hunting for properties like a child running round Hamleys. It now looks like the executives have their beady eye on a new version of Ben Hur.

Though Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ was adapted – by MGM itself – into the iconic, Oscar-scoring 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston, the studio thinks the time has come for a new interpretation. By which we don't mean the little-seen 2010 miniseries. 

Though MGM sold the rights to the movie in the 1980s, the book has long since entered the public domain, so the way is clear for this second stab. The Way Back’s Keith Clarke has come up with a spec script that is apparently more faithful to the tome.

This time around, we’ll be treated to more of the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala is the son of a Roman tax collector sent to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, he mocks our hero for his religion, and, after an accident he pins on his friend, even finds a way for him to be sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (at least in the Heston film) in the iconic chariot race.

The new film will bear more parallels with the life of Jesus Christ, who Ben-Hur will both meet and be inspired by during his life. “It’s one of the great stories of friendship and betrayal, and faith, that works in the context of a big onscreen action thriller for a global audience,” producer Daniel tells Deadline of the novel. Well, Biblical stories are big right now…

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cooper Prepares For Dark Invasion
He's on for the spy thriller
David Goyer Enters The Breach
Update: He's now set to direct as well as produce

Your Comments

This tale of fallen grace, struggle, redemption, spectacle, religion and humanity needs an Oscar winning director with a proven track record in swords/sandals and has specific personal beliefs, and badly needs something to prove, (like, a hit)...............who in the world better than Mr Mel Gibson?????????????? More

Posted by Frank Comiskey at 10:45 on 18 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: I wonder
L: chris wootton In this day and age if biblical movies will make any money. I just can't see a massive audience for these films any more. t's an interesting dynamic. You want it faithful enough that Christians will see it, and with enough difference and 'hook' so that anyone else will see it. Passion of the Christ did pretty well, managed to get both groups. More

Posted by sifter132 at 20:52 on 16 January 2013 | Report This Post

See how quickly this sinks if Noah tanks - all the same, providing that they have good script, and remember that General Wallace envisaged, 'A Tale of Christ', this is an interesting idea; have long thought that Michael Fassbender would make a wonderful Messala and CGI would do an extraordinary chariot scene; but, knowing that the race it is not being done for real (previously by Yannuk Canutt), would it be as thrilling?????????? More

Posted by Frank Comiskey at 17:38 on 15 January 2013 | Report This Post

I wonder
In this day and age if biblical movies will make any money. I just can't see a massive audience for these films any more. More

Posted by chris wootton at 10:31 on 15 January 2013 | Report This Post

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)