Fresh out of bankruptcy and riding the financial successes of Skyfall and The Hobbit, MGM is remaking Ben-Hur.
Ben-Hur has been made into a movie twice before. In 1925, MGM released Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ and then in 1959 MGM released Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston. Now MGM is looking to triple dip in hopes of continued theatrical success.
Prior to a breakout 2012 box-office year, MGM had filed for bankruptcy. With Skyfall and The Hobbit combining to bank almost $2 billion worldwide, the studios outlook is no longer so bleak.
According to a Deadline exclusive, MGM is buying a Ben-Hur spec script from Keith Clarke with producers Sean Daniel and Joni Levin attached to the project.
The story of Ben-Hur was originally published in the 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which would go on to outsell the bible and would only be eclipsed in sales by Gone With The Wind decades later.
To separate itself from previous film versions, the new Ben-Hur will tell the tale of the major characters in their formative years. At the same time it will tell the parallel story of Jesus Christ. In the novel, Ben-Hur has several encounters with Jesus Christ, and it is through these interactions he becomes a believer in the Messiah.
About making the film, Daniels says:
“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.”
What do you think: Does a new telling of Ben-Hur excited you as a moviegoer?