One of MGM’s tactics on their journey from the brink of death, was to remake a bunch of well-known older movies in addition to the box office juggernauts they had in The Hobbit and Skyfall—two movies that together are nearing $2 billion worldwide. Remakes the studio has made or has been said to be working on include the recent Red Dawn, the upcoming RoboCop, a new version of The Magnificent Seven starring Tom Cruise, and the Sam Raimi-produced Poltergeist remake.
Now comes word that MGM is getting into the reboot game, and they’re doing so in epic fashion. It’s being reported that the studio is set to reboot Ben-Hur, which is of course a classic 1959 film starring the late Charlton Heston.
MGM didn’t only release the William Wyler-directed ’59 Ben-Hur, but also a 1925 silent film version titled Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the same title as the 1880 Lew Wallace novel the movies are adapted from.
But this movie will not be a remake of the Heston version. MGM sold the rights to that film to Ted Turner in the ’80s, and bought a re-adaptation of Wallace’s original work, written by Keith Clarke, which is now part of the public domain.
The new take on the story will follow Judah Ben-Hur and Messala as childhood friends that eventually become bitter enemies. It will also include parallel storylines, one focusing on Ben-Hur and the other on Jesus Christ, whose paths cross multiple times. All of this culminates in the iconic chariot race showdown between Ben-Hur and Messala, as well as the death sentence given to Christ by Pontius Pilate.
The new Ben-Hur is yet another biblical epic in what’s soon going to be commonplace as your local cinema. Other biblical flicks that are on the way include Darren Aronofsky’s Noah starring Russell Crowe as the man who would build an ark, Pontius Pilate possibly starring Brad Pitt, and a pair of movies about Moses currently being developed with Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott as potential directors.
What do you think of all of these biblical movies on the way? Whether you’re spiritual or not, which one(s) would you most want to see become a movie?