Toby Kebbell In Talks To Play Bad Guy Messala In MGM’s Ben-Hur Remake

toby kebbell

MGM and Paramount are putting the sandal to the metal for their remake of biblical epic, Ben-Hur. After news broke yesterday that Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston had been tapped to play the title role of Judah Ben-Hur – it seems they’ve got interest in his opponent. Variety has announced that go-to villain Toby Kebbell is reportedly eyeing the role of Messala.

Should he sign on this will cement the actor into the ranks of the baddies. Kebbell recently finished shooting on The Fantastic Four reboot as the evil Doctor Doom and wowed audiences with his motion-capture performance as the ruthless ape, Koba, in this summer’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. He’s got the gritty snarl to play bad guys with relish, as evidenced by his role as Koba, and though we’ll have to wait and see how he fares as Doom, you know what they say, if it ain’t broke…

Set to be directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the remake of the 1959 classic will return to the source material for this refreshed version of the legendary tale. The script was penned by 12 Years A Slave writer John Ridley and The Way Back‘s Keith Clarke. Based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the story follows a young nobleman (Huston) who suffers years of false imprisonment as a slave. Upon his release he vows to enact vengeance on his former best friend (Kebbell), whose actions led to his enslavement.

Casting is still in the early stages, although the flick has already bagged the stoic awe of Morgan Freeman with Tom Hiddleston rumoured to be in the mix for an unknown role.

Ben-Hur is scheduled for release on February 26th, 2016.