First ‘Ben-Hur’ Trailer: The Classic Tale Gets a Remake

Ben Hur 2016

There’s a remake of Ben-Hur on the way, and we’ve got the very first trailer right here.

Jack Huston takes on the titular role in this ambitious remake, which tells the story of Ben-Hur, a prince who is betrayed by his adopted brother (Toby Kebbell) and eventually sold into slavery. Ben-Hur returns years later seeking revenge.

There’s no denying the cinematic impact of William Wyler’s Charlton Heston-starring 1959 epic, but many forget that the movie, a winner of 11 Academy Awards, was in fact a remake of a 1925 silent epic of the same name. Point being, remakes do have their place when they’re done right.

Time will tell if this take on the epic tale works. The first trailer provides an energetic look at the film, focusing on the momentous chariot race/battle that was delivered in such masterful fashion in the ’59 film. Morgan Freeman seems a little out of place as Ilderim, but we’re guessing he won’t actually be in it for too long and is being pushed as a familiar face among a cast without huge stars. Kebbell is good value, so hopefully he brings something to his role as the antagonist. Our lead, Jack Huston, has proven himself a solid actor, but he hasn’t had a role this big before. We’ll see if he holds an audience.

Arguably the biggest question is on whether Timur Bekmambetov is the right director for this project. Bekmambetov broke out with Russian fantasy-thriller Night Watch and has since given us the sequel Day Watch, Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It’s a mixed track record, one that shows a focus on visuals. Hopefully he pays equal attention to character development and emotion here.

Interestingly, Tom Hiddleston was circling the lead until he opted to jump on Kong: Skull Island instead.

Ben-Hur hits the U.S. on August 12 and Australia on August 18.

Synopsis for Ben-Hur:

BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Also starring Morgan Freeman and Rodrigo Santoro.

Ben Hur - Jack Huston - Morgan Freeman

BEN-HUR - Movie Poster

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