From the bootlegging antics of Prohibition-era Atlantic city to the decadent halls of ancient Rome, Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston — also known as Richard Harrow on the HBO drama — has joined MGM and Paramount’s ambitious remake of Ben-Hur as the titular Jewish Prince.
That’s according to a report by Deadline, who tell us that while early rumours indicated that fan-favourite Tom Hiddleston would appear in the film, it seems that studio has opted for Huston instead to fill the shoes of the great Charlton Heston.
With a release date pegged for February, 2016, the studios are still to cast the role of Ben-Hur’s closet friend, Messala. Fans of the original film and indeed Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel of the same name will know all too well that the pair’s relationship serves as the heart of this most epic tale, so it’ll be fascinating to see who takes up the prestigious mantle.
Essentially, the two grow apart when Messala — son of a Roman tax collector — leaves his home town for the capital to be educated for five years. So, after returning to his place of birth, he mocks Ben-Hur for his religious beliefs and inadvertently has him sold into slavery. Cue our hero’s quest for revenge.
Huston now joins Morgan Freeman in the modern retelling, who recently signed on to play the role of Ildarin — a wise old man who trains the titular protagonist in the fine art of chariot racing. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is in the director’s chair, with Keith Clarke and John Ridley on scripting duties.
Bekmambetov’s remake of William Wyler’s seminal 1959 epic is poised to race triumphantly into theatres on February 26th, 2016. Until then, let us know what you make of casting Jack Huston as Ben-Hur in the comments section below.