Toby Kebbell In Talks For Ben-Hur

He's up for the role of the villainous Messala

Toby Kebbell In Talks For Ben-Hur

by James White |
Published on


Toby Kebbell just can’t stay away from the dark side. After thrilling cinemagoers as driven simian Koba in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes earlier this year, he’s recently finished a stint as Doctor Doom in** The Fantastic Four**. To follow those, he’s now in talks to play the main antagonist in Timur Bekmambetov’s take on **Ben-Hur.

Kebbell entering talks comes on the heels of Boardwalk Empire veteran Jack Huston landing the title role and Morgan Freeman signing on in support.

Taken once again from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala (Kebbell, if he makes a deal), best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off 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, has him sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (at least in the 1959 Charlton Heston film) in the iconic chariot race.

Freeman will be the man to train our hero in the ways of the race. 12 Years A Slave’s John Ridley wrote the most recent draft of the script and Bekmambetov is aiming at a February 19, 2016 release here before the film heads to the states on February 26.

As for Kebbell, **The Fantastic Four **arrives here on June 18 next year (though the US release date has just changed, so watch this space), with Duncan Jones’ Warcraft set for March 11, 2016. He’s currently at work on Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantasy drama A Monster Calls.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us