According to Deadline Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov is in early talks with MGM to direct Ben-Hur, a new adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. Things may not work out, but if they do it would be an interesting project for the director whose most recent film was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
MGM were also responsible for the 1959 epic of the same name (which itself was a remake). The film starred Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, and ended up winning 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Good luck to Bekmambetov trying to top that.
We’re getting another remake because MGM have had a successful streak recently with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Skyfall both making over $1 billion worldwide. They’ve got plenty of money floating around, and they liked a spec script from writer Keith Clarke (The Way Back). The story will follow Wallace’s original novel and the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince sold into slavery who wants revenge against the man responsible. The latest adaptation will differ from the 1959 film as it will also tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, who Ben-Hur encounters on his travels.