The first shot has the Boardwalk Empire star, who’s playing the titular role, chatting with Morgan Freeman’s character, Ilderim, who trains Judah Ben-Hur. The second photo, meanwhile, has the prince riding a chariot. Neither reveal a whole lot, but we’re certainly looking forward to the film, so it’s nice to finally get a look at it.
Of course, a lot of people still feel that we don’t really need a Ben-Hur remake, given how many times the story has been adapted already and due to the fact that the most well known version, which starred Charlton Heston back in 1959, cleaned up at the Oscars.
That being said, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about this updated version. Huston is a strong, charismatic actor who’s due for a part like this, and from what we’ve heard so far, the filmmakers are heading in a bit of a different direction.
This adaptation will focus more heavily on an earlier part of the story, rather than that which we associate with the 1959 epic. The source novel – written by Lew Wallace and first published in 1880 – is a tale of vengeance and redemption set in parallel with the story of Jesus Christ, but it is also a riveting drama about human relationships. This aspect of the story is most demonstrable early on in the narrative, which is when this new version will supposedly take place.
USA Today are the ones who premiered the photos and when they caught up with Huston, here’s what he had to say about the story at the heart of the movie:
“There’s something really beautiful about it, especially in the current climate of the world, about different religions and people being at odds against each other. How do we find our way out of this, how do we forgive, how do we forget, how do we move on, how should we treat our fellow human?”
Speaking about filming the chariot races, the actor added:
“You get in with two horses on a chariot, which blows your mind, and then you put four horses on the end of your reins,” Huston recalls. “It would be the equivalent of a Formula 1 race.
“It’s overwhelming and incredibly scary,” he says. “But after the first day where you think every second, ‘I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die,’ you decide to put that out of your brain for good and it becomes just part of the job.”
In addition to Houston and Freeman, the cast also boasts Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro and Pilou Asbaek. While you wait for Ben-Hur to hit theatres on August 12th, check out the photos above and let us know if you’re looking forward to seeing the remake.