Rodrigo Santoro is Going from Xerxes in '300' to Jesus in 'Ben-Hur'
Paramount Pictures and MGM have had the leads for their remake of Ben-Hur set since last year with Jack Huston playing the titular Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his onetime friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell (of the Fantastic Four reboot and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). The rest of the cast includes Morgan Freeman as Ben-Hur's chariot trainer as well as Olivia Cooke and Ayelet Zurer. Now THR has word on another pivotal cast member with 300 franchise villain and Love Actually co-star Rodrigo Santoro playing another Biblical figure, albeit less evil, as the son of God himself, Jesus Christ. Read on!
It makes sense that Jesus would be an important part of the story since the original Lew Wallace book from 1880 on which the film is based is called Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ. The messiah actually appears several times in the tale, as Ben-Hur witnesses Jesus preaching in Jerusalem, and later see his crucifixion as well. But the primary focus is the story of Ben-Hur and Messala. Timur Bekmambetov is directing the film which is looking to shoot in Europe starting this winter and going through spring. Santoro will be seen again on the big screen next month on Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie.