Filming on Timur Bekmambetov's Ben-Hur begins in Italy


Ready or not, Timur Bekmambetov (ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, WANTED) is jumping behind the camera once more to bring his vision to the sword and sandal epic. Okay, maybe in this case it would be more of a charriot and sandal epic. BEN-HUR begins principal photography in Rome and Matera, Italy with a planned release date of February 26, 2016. If you're not familiar with the Charlton Heston classic, the story follows that of Judah Ben-Hur, a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend, Messala, who betrayed him. The film stars Jack Huston (AMERICAN HUSTLE) as Judah Ben-Hur, Morgan Freeman (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) as Ilderim, Toby Kebbell (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) as Messala and Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) as Esther. Timur Bekmambetov will direct from a script written by Keith Clarke (THE WAY BACK) and John Ridley (12 YEARS A SLAVE).

Bekmambetov had this to say:

You could not have imagined a more perfect location to shoot this epic than Italy. We can’t wait to get started,” said Bekmambetov.

Like a lot of you, I'm sure, I grew up with the Heston classic. That film captured "epic" in a way that's just not done anymore, employing the use of extras where a computer would just render them nowadays. John Ridly insists that this will be a different take on the source material and I hope for everyone's sake it is. Bekmambetov has a unique vision, for sure, but if this one tries to ape the Heston flick, I have a feeling it may falter big time. Here's hoping that's not the case.

BEN-HUR is scheduled to hit theaters on February 26, 2016.

jack-huston-charlton-heston-comparisonJack Huston better get to work on those biceps!



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