Ben-Hur is getting a remake because, well, Hollywood is running short on original ideas. The project has been in development for a while, actually, and it will focus on the “formative years” of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala. Also, there’s apparently a plot thread which will involve Jesus Christ, who will meet up with our titular hero at some point during the film.
Up until now, we haven’t heard of any names being attached to the project but today, Deadline is telling us that director Timur Bekmambetov is in talks with MGM to helm the remake. It’s not official just yet, but the two parties are in negotiations. Even if he doesn’t end up getting the gig, the very fact that he’s in consideration says a lot about the project.
Looking at Bekmambetov’s resume, if the studio is hoping for him to direct, we can only assume that this take on the story will be a bit more stylized and amped up. I mean, this is the guy who brought us films like Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Is MGM looking for a Ben-Hur remake similar in tone and style to those two films? Perhaps.
It’s clear that the studio wants their remake to be quite different from the original 1959 film but considering Ben-Hur is amongst the best films ever made, is it really that smart to be straying this far from it?
What do you think? Would you like to see Timur Bekmambetov bring us a remake of Ben-Hur? More importantly, who really thinks that the original should be remade?