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Writer John Ridley talks about crafting a Ben-Hur that's unique

While no one is exactly clamoring for a remake for one of Charlton Heston's most beloved roles, I think it's safe to say that director Timur Bekmambetov (ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, WANTED) is really going to deliver something different to the sword and sandal arena with his take. Screenwriter John Ridley (12 YEARS A SLAVE, THREE KINGS) recently spoke out about the kind of film they're making and how it will differ from the original classic.

John Ridley's words via Coming Soon:

It's going to be different in the sense that the original writer Keith Clarke wrote an amazing script and then went back to the Lew Wallace novel and really excavated the relationship between the two main characters, Ben-Hur and Messala. It's interesting to a degree. It's kind of like going after Jimi Hendrix, because there are things about the 1959 movie that we think we remember, there are things that really happened, including obviously the chariot race, so it's going to be different in the sense that we're not really trying to completely chase the movie people remember but there are elements of that movie: the heart of the film, the emotional drive of the film that we want to try to bring to a whole new audience. I think it's an interesting project. It’s certainly challenging. It's certainly one that people are going to come into with expectations, but like anything you do, you gotta exceed those expectations to a degree and also not worry about them because at its core, we hope and believe that we’ve got something that’s unique.

As I get older I find myself more open to the idea of remakes and re-imaginings. While they don't often exceed the original film's take, every now and again you get an experience that's worthwhile. At the very least, it may make you appreciate what came before that much more. Bekmambetov's WANTED was a lot more fun than it had any business being, so I'd like to see his take on some material that takes itself a little more seriously than say . . . a vampire-slaying Abraham Lincoln.

Timur Bekmambetov's BEN-HUR will hit theaters February 26, 2016.

Source: Coming Soon

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