Timur Bekmambetov Now in Talks to Direct 'Ben-Hur' Remake at MGM
by Ethan Anderton
August 19, 2013
Earlier this year, we learned that MGM was getting ready to whip another remake into shape by taking on a new adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which was adapted into the 1925 silent film of the same name, in addition to the classic 1959 Oscar-wining film, Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston. Now the studio is in talks with an unlikely helmer with Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov being lined up to sit behind the camera this time around. This all comes after a spec script by Keith Clarke (The Way Back) caught the studio's attention. Read on!
Wen the project was announced, it was said, "this film will tell the formative story of the characters as they grew up best friends before the Roman Empire" and it's more faithful to the book. They also said "another way the script differs from the movie, in that it will tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, with whom Ben-Hur has several encounters which moves him to become a believer in the Messiah, and which culminates in Christ being sentenced to death." Bekmambetov is still figuring out the financial terms of a deal to direct, and Deadline notes there's a chance it could fall apart. The director seems like a strange choice unless this will be a stylized telling of the tale in the vein of 300 or Clash of the Titans, but maybe Bekmambetov has a trick up his sleeve to deliver a serious epic drama from the Bible.
Weird. Always interested to see what Bekmambetov will come up with, still rate Nightwatch incredibly highly.
Carpola on Aug 19, 2013
I think, regardless of how iconic or classic a film is, that the older it is, the more 'fair' it is to consider a remake and the more value there is in creating it with modern tools for a new generation. Remaking Jurassic Park 20 years later isn't cool, but if you want to remake '2001: A Space Odyssey' nearly 50 years later...that makes sense, especially since it likely wouldn't take place in, or have '2001' in the title. So yeah, whichever. I'm someone who has grown up in the age of alternate cuts, extended cuts, director's cuts, remakes, reboots, foreign adaptations, etc etc...so I really am not someone who "gets" or "cares" about some arbitrary barrier or rule of 'What can be remade and what can't be remade' That doesn't mean I'm interested in every remake(I'm not excited about the Robocop remake) but I respect the right and concept to make them. No great story should ever be told just once.
Chris Groves on Aug 19, 2013
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