Tom Hiddleston Eyed to Lead BEN-HUR Remake

by     Posted 131 days ago

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MGM and Paramount are starting to put together their cast for the Ben-Hur remake, and they have their sights set high for the lead role.  Deadline reports that Tom Hiddleston is being courted to play Judah Ben-Hur in the Biblical epic, which has Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov set to helm.  The pic is based on the original novel by Lew Wallace, which was subsequently turned into a classic 1959 film starring Charlton Heston.  Bemkambetov’s version is described as focusing on the nature of faith, as it follows a falsely accused nobleman who sets out to take vengeance on the best friend who betrayed him.  Hit the jump for more on the prospect of Hiddleston’s casting.

tom-hiddleston-ben-hurThe folks at Deadline report that Hiddleston is apparently the top choice to fill Heston’s shoes in the Ben-Hur remake, but they caution that it’s not nearly a done deal.  Hiddleston is also mulling over an offer for another MGM pic, Me Before You, as well as a few other films.  He recently wrapped Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance Crimson Peak and is currently shooting director Ben Wheatley’s thriller High-Rise alongside Luke Evans.  He also has I Saw the Light on tap, in which he will play legendary country star Hank Williams.

Ben-Hur has a curious pedigree, as Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley wrote the most recent draft of the script and The Bible producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey recently joined the project as producers.  The film will heavily incorporate the story of Jesus Christ from the book, which runs parallel to the actions of Judah Ben-Hur throughout the film.  Ben-Hur already has a release date of February 26, 2016 in place, so MGM and Paramount are likely looking to start production by early next year.  It will no doubt be a lengthy shoot, so it’ll be interesting to see if Hiddleston signs on.  We should learn more in the coming weeks.

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  • Person

    Hiddleston’s a great choice, but why is MGM/Paramount dumping such a big-budget potential blockbuster at the end of February? This seems like it’d play great around Easter or Christmas, which also happen to be bigger audience weekends. This movie is still totally unnecessary, but that’s a bit odd.

    • MissNatalou

      Odd and worrying. Big budget movies that come out early in the year can be hit or miss cant they?

    • KEN

      Oh, it’s not dumping. They are targeting christian crowds prepping Easter. The Passion of the Christ was open on last weekend of Feb as well.

      • Person

        Good point.

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  • alk

    The red flag for me is Timur. He has had a TERRIBLE American movie track record. His movies might make SOME money, but they usually lose more than they want, PLUS critically people hate them and agree universally they’re usually crap. So anyone who sees this as anything more than a big dumb action movie masquerading as an ambitious remake/religious project, you are VERY mistaken.

  • IMPYEMU

    Get ready for CGI Mayhem. The original movie is one of the most EPIC movies ever made BECAUSE of how real it is, thousands of thousands of extras and large scale sets. This movie will have none of that.

  • IMPYEMU

    Get ready for CGI Mayhem. The original movie is one of the most EPIC movies ever made BECAUSE of how real it is, thousands of thousands of extras and large scale sets. This movie will have none of that.

  • IMPYEMU

    Get ready for CGI Mayhem. The original movie is one of the most EPIC movies ever made BECAUSE of how real it is, thousands of thousands of extras and large scale sets. This movie will have none of that.

  • Grendal Sven

    Every time I see Tom now automatically think to myself… why is Loki dressed like that?

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