Paramount has announced yet more plans to reshuffle its release slate today, with the studio opting to push Timur Bekmambetov’s grand remake of sword and sandals epic Ben-Hur to August 12, 2016, whereas Charlie Kaufman‘s Anomalisa has nailed down a due date of December 30, 2015.
Before Paramount made it official, Bekmambetov’s modern retelling – which stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi and Rodrigo Santoro – had been slated to launch in theaters on February 26. No specific reason was disclosed by either Paramount or MGM, though considering the scale and scope of the film, it could be that it needed more time to incubate in post-production to touch up special effects, or that both parties are simply vouching for Ben-Hur‘s summer blockbuster status by shifting the due date to August.
Penned by Keith Clarke, Paramount’s Ben-Hur is based on Lew Wallace’s seminal 1880s novel of the same name. It was first adapted to the screen in the late 50s for a 3 hour 44 minute epic starring Charlton Heston as the title character, and even if Bekmambetov capture a fraction of the scale of Wallace’s work, then we can likely expect a mammoth blockbuster come 2016. Taking place after the events of the original classic, the studio’s modern take is said to revolve around the relationship between Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince, and Messala.
On the eve of the release of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the studio also reshuffled its horror deck for the next two years, repositioning both F. Javier Gutiérrez’s Rings and the long-gestating Friday the 13th reboot to April 1, 2016 and January 13, 2017, respectively.
In the wake of today’s announcement, Paramount’s Ben-Hur will now make its bow shortly after the release of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad on August 12, 2016.