Movie MGM To Remake Ben-Hur (For the Third Time)

LiddyRules

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I think this is the studio version of N rich.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/new-ben-hur-movie-remake-reboot-mgm-lew-wallace-novel/

EXCLUSIVE: What a difference $2 billion in late fall box office business has done for MGM‘s ambitions. The studio is planning to unleash a new version of Ben-Hur, based on the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which outsold every book but The Bible until it was eclipsed by Gone With The Wind.
MGM, which emerged from bankruptcy and is raising new funding after Skyfall crossed $1 billion worldwide gross and The Hobbit heads to the $900 million mark, is buying a Ben-Hur spec by Keith Clarke (he scripted the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back), and the package comes with Sean Daniel and Joni Levin attached to produce, and Clarke and Jason Brown exec producing.

MGM actually released the 1959 Charlton Heston-starrer Ben-Hur, as well as the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. The studio isn’t looting its library titles: MGM, which has seen many of its assets pillaged during previous ownership regimes, sold the Heston film to Ted Turner in the 1980s. But the book is public domain. MGM, now steered by Gary Barber and production president Jonathan Glickman and taking on action adventure films that include Hercules with Dwayne Johnson, just loved a spec that is faithful to the book and is much different than the 1959 William Wyler film that focused on the adult blood feud between Judah Ben-Hur (Heston) and Messala (Stephen Boyd).

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.
Judah doesn’t die, and vows revenge on Messala which, like in the films, culminates in the famed chariot races. There is another way the script differs from the movie, in that it will tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, with whom Ben-Hur has several encounters which moves him to become a believer in the Messiah, and which culminates in Christ being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. Intertwined in all this is the lifelong struggle between Ben-Hur and Messala.

The depiction of Jesus Christ as an occasional character in the script puts this project squarely in the mix of Biblical-themed films that are proliferating at studios around town. They include Pontius Pilate, which now has Brad Pitt attached to the Vera Blasi-scripted Warner Bros project; two films about Moses that Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott are separately circling; and the Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah, which stars Russell Crowe.

“It’s one of the great stories of friendship and betrayal, and faith, that works in the context of a big onscreen action thriller for a global audience,” Daniel said of the Wallace novel.
“It’s one of the great stories of friendship and betrayal, and faith, that works in the context of a big onscreen action thriller for a global audience,” Daniel said of the Wallace novel.

What?

However I did not know the Ben Hur book was that popular. Were there no books around for much of the 19th and 20th century?
 

Bill Lehecka

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#2
I'd only see this if they shot it in 2.76:1 aspect ratio.
 

LiddyRules

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Ben Hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

 

LiddyRules

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I didn't realize that when I first posted this thread, I forgot to mention it's directed by the guy who did everyone's favorite movie: AB Linx
 

LiddyRules

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#8
 

Atomic Fireball

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Where's the parallel Christ story? This looks exactly like the Heston Ben-Hur with the addition of a Magic Negro. And they did the chariot races without SFX in the previous two iterations.
 

LiddyRules

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Atomic Fireball

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Nice archivist-ing but from the same article:
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, March 07, 2013 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 2 inches; 95 words Type of Material: Correction
Petro Vlahos: The obituary of special-effects pioneer Petro Vlahos in the Feb. 20 LATExtra section said that his "color-difference system" was used for the chariot race in the film "Ben-Hur." Vlahos' system was used to help create the 1959 movie's sea battle and its aftermath, not the chariot scenes.
It was a pisser to film that chariot race.
 

BIV

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#13
More like Ben Durrrrrrrrrrr....amirite?
 

SKEPTIC

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Pigdango

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Paramount has pushed Ben Hur back a week, from 8/12 to 8/19

The back end of August, long a graveyard for projects studios have no faith in, has transformed to a sort of refuge for smaller scale projects. Ben Hur is likely more the former than the latter, but unfortunately that means it has to compete with not only more movies, but higher caliber ones.

It got out of 8/12 no doubt due to the buzz on Suicide Squad, which releases on 8/5. Not only that, but there are 3 major studio releases already on 8/12: Sony's Sausage Party, the R rated Seth Rogen film, Pete's Dragon, the latest Disney live action remake, and Spectral, a film described as a "Supernatural Black Hawk Down", from Univeral/Legendary.

8/19 really isn't any better, with Kubo and the Two Strings, an animated film with an all star cast from the studio that produced Coraline, Paranorman, and The Box Trolls, War Crimes, directed by Todd Phillips (Old School), and starring Jonah Hill and poor Miles Teller as arms dealers, and The Space Between Us, a sci-fi adventure starring two failed sci fi stars, Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) and Asa Butterfield (Ender's Game), and directed by the guy who directed the Hannah Montana movie.

So yeah. Not a lot of hope for old Benny Hur.
 

LiddyRules

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#19

It looks like they're focusing exclusively on the religious audience to the point of driving away non-faith-based audiences. And I'm basing it on the song used in the trailer.
 

HandPanzer

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#20

It looks like they're focusing exclusively on the religious audience to the point of driving away non-faith-based audiences. And I'm basing it on the song used in the trailer.
I wonder what they're trying to say with shots like this:


REL at Morgan Freeman's hair:


Also, I miss Richard's mask. He just doesn't look the same without it:


Edit: That music is amazing. Lew Wallace thinks they're really hitting the viewer over the head with the Jesus stuff.
 
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LiddyRules

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I wonder what they're trying to say with shots like this:
I can't imagine anything more peaceful than floating in that ocean.

REL at Morgan Freeman's hair:
I like to imagine that his hair becomes like that if he doesn't film anything for a week. That's why he takes so many jobs.

Also, I miss Richard's mask. He just doesn't look the same without it:
The dude who's gay for Ben-Hur was also Doctor Doom in the new Fant4stic movie.

Edit: That music is amazing. Lew Wallace thinks they're really hitting the viewer over the head with the Jesus stuff.
 

Stormrider666

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#24
I wonder what they're trying to say with shots like this:


REL at Morgan Freeman's hair:


Also, I miss Richard's mask. He just doesn't look the same without it:


Edit: That music is amazing. Lew Wallace thinks they're really hitting the viewer over the head with the Jesus stuff.
I have seenn't Jesus Christ imagery like that since Lebron James's "Witness" billboard.
 

LiddyRules

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I have seenn't Jesus Christ imagery like that since Lebron James's "Witness" billboard.
You son of a bitch. You just made me realize that the reason that Batman had a stupid, impractical spear in Beavis is that's the Spear of Destiny from Jesus fame.