Hollywood is suddenly all hot for Bible stories again, with a half dozen major films based on one tale or another from the Bible currently in development. Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” being one, and Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott are also eying stories about Moses.
MGM is getting in on the action, with plans to remake “Ben-Hur”, based on the novel 1880 Lew Wallace novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ”.
MGM, never shy about remaking films, is buying a spec script by Keith Clarke based on the novel (which is in public domain, so Wallace gets nothing). The new “Ben-Hur” will take follow childhood buddies Judah Ben-Hur and Messala as they grow up to be enemies:
This film will tell the formative story of the characters as they grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Judah Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude. Messala mocks Judah and his religion and when a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates it so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life.
Yeah, throwing someone’s mother and sister in prison for life will definitely put a damper on a friendship right there.
As with the famous 1959 Charlton Heston film, this version of “Ben-Hur” will also end with the famous chariot race. Jesus Christ will have more of a role here, appearing in Ben-Hur’s life throughout the film, until he’s ultimately sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate.
Via : Deadline