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There will be joy again! MGM is rebooting Ben-Hur

01.14.2013

Many cinephiles consider 1959's BEN-HUR to be an achievement in filmmaking. But what if I told you they were putting this story on the reboot pile?

Since MGM is on the up and up, it looks like they are expanding their horizons for bigger and better project to undertake in the next few years. They can thank SKYFALL and THE HOBBIT for everything. The studio has decided to buy Keith Clarke's (THE WAY BACK) spec script for BEN-HUR. Don't go looking for this to be a remake, as I said it's a reboot. MGM sold the rights to the Charlton Heston starer back in the 80s. Since the rights to Lew Wallace's book are up for grabs, so is the take on the new film. The script is said to focus more on the novel rather than the feud between Judah Ben-Hur and Messala.

The film will, "tell the formative story of the characters as they grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Judah Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude. Messala mocks Judah and his religion and when a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates it so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life."

"Judah doesn’t die, and vows revenge on Messala which, like in the films, culminates in the famed chariot races. There is another way the script differs from the movie, in that it will tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, with whom Ben-Hur has several encounters which moves him to become a believer in the Messiah, and which culminates in Christ being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. Intertwined in all this is the lifelong struggle between Ben-Hur and Messala."

Producer Sean Daniel said this on the project, “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."

Are you in favor of a reboot?

Source: Deadline

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