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'Ben-Hur' Getting A Reboot, Will Feature More Jesus Christ

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 14, 2013 7:04 PM
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New year, same old Hollywood. We're officially two weeks into 2013, and the first stomach churning reboot news has surfaced. William Wyler's 11 Oscar winning "Ben-Hur" (tied with "Titanic" and "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" as the only film to accomplish that feat) is now getting a reboot. Why? Mostly because they can.

MGM has bought a spec script from Keith Clarke ("The Way Back") that is based on the Lew Wallace novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ," as the Wyler picture was. However, the project is aiming to tell a different story than 1959 picture, breaking off onto its own in two key ways: firstly, it will focus on the "formative years" of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, leading up to the moment in which the latter betrays the former, selling him into slavery which (eventually) leads to revenge and chariot races. And oh yeah, this new version will feature a "parallel" story of Jesus Christ, who meets up with Ben-Hur at various points, and is eventually sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate.

Oh! So MGM wants the Christian market. That explains it. You can toss this on file with the other God-market movies in development including Ridley Scott's "Moses," Steven Spielberg's "Gods And Kings," the brewing "Pontius Pilate" that may star Brad Pitt and more. No word yet on directors or stars, but good luck to whoever takes it on. [Deadline]

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  • Bea | January 15, 2013 3:14 PMReply

    Seems Kevin Jagernauth has a problem. Sad.

  • Joel Johnson | January 15, 2013 8:45 AMReply

    I believe I agree with Daniel who offered (albeit facetiously) that it has been a horrific travesty that the Ben-Hur storyline has already been remade in 1925 and 1959 after being brought to the screen in 1907. I always find it amusing that many people find it so transgressive that the same story might be brought to the screen again as if a revered version should be sullied by a later version. It is my belief that in the case of waiting 54 years to consider making a remake of William Wyler's "Ben-Hur" the result is not to sully this classic, but to bring this version back into the consciousness of contemporary filmgoers. This is a good thing for a classic work like this.

    I would also wish to point out to the writer of this article that it is unbecoming to show such antipathy to faith and those who have faith. The writer is certainly entitled to his own opinion on faith and whether there is indeed a God, however films that address this issue or incorporate religious figures or are based on stories from religious texts should not be subject to such disrespect and antagonism. These are issues and stories that are important to millions of people and the stories have enriched our culture for centuries even in the hands of those who are agnostic or atheists.

  • goldfarb | January 15, 2013 7:57 PM

    "...should not be subject to such disrespect and antagonism."

    this is EXACTLY why they should be...just as much as anything else...

  • jimmiescoffee | January 14, 2013 11:08 PMReply

    greatest headline ever.

  • DArtagnan | January 14, 2013 9:26 PMReply

    Oh my God!!! :p

    I don't think "reboot" is the term here. I think that applies to franchises. It's a remake of the film or (better) re-adaptation of the book.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | January 14, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    *Charlton Heston voice* (through gritted chiclet teeth) The Lord thy God sayeth, Let my classics go!

  • daniel | January 14, 2013 7:40 PMReply

    I know. I sure wish they didn't remake the 1925 film based on the same novel with that 1959 one. How could they possibly improve on that?

    And I sure wish they didn't remake the 1907 version based on the same novel with that 1925 one. How could they possibly improve on that?

    Everyone knows remakes are automatically bad. For some reason.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | January 14, 2013 7:54 PM

    The reason: The remake almost always improves the style while gutting (or altogether leaving out) the substance. The "Dawn of the Dead" remake was a decent enough horror flick but left out much of the social commentary Romero aimed for in the original. The heart of a thing is what makes it live.

  • kitcon | January 14, 2013 7:30 PMReply

    Possibly the most ?!! news in a while.

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