Paramount has released a new Ben-Hur trailer and featurette. Directed by Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter helmer Timur Bekmambetov, the film tells the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his brother Messala (Toby Kebbell). Along the way, Ben-Hur learns the value of redemption from Jesus.
Unlike the first trailer, the new trailer doesn’t shy away at all from the Jesus aspect, and it almost seems like this could easily fit into a Christsploitation picture with the heavy reliance not just on Christ imagery, but the music they chose as well. And yet judging by the cinematography, Bekmambetov looks far more at home in the mindless action picture stuff like the ships crashing and the chariot race.
Speaking of the chariot race, the featurette delves into how it was done practically, and it’s clear they’re really banking on this set piece to help sell people on the film. Personally, I think the chariot race looks alright, but I’m more interesting to see if the character relationships and the story pays off rather than horses going fast around a track.
Check out the trailer and featurette below. The film opens August 19th and also stars Morgan Freeman, Rodrigo Santoro, and Nazanin Boniadi.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ben-Hur:
BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but an encounter with Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) leads him to the Crucifixion, where he discovers forgiveness and finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Also starring Morgan Freeman.