Yesterday we got our first official look at Paramount Pictures' Ben-Hur with new photos featuring stars Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman. As it turns out, we didn't have to wait too long for the first footage, since Paramount Pictures debuted the trailer today, along with the new poster. Production started on MGM's Ben-Hur remake in Rome more than a year ago, although the production was quite guarded and we didn't see any photos or footage from the set.
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 finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace's timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
Morgan Freeman stars as Ilderim, who becomes Ben-Hur's trainer and mentor, with Rodrigo Santoro portraying Jesus Christ. The story is adapted closer to the novel, which tells the tale of Jesus in parallel with the main story. This wasn't included in the original classic. The photos from yesterday teased the chariot races, which are arguably the most iconic scenes from the 1959 blockbuster. Director Timur Bekmambetov said yesterday that these scenes are also the "crown jewel" of the remake.
Jack Huston revealed that he spent two and a half months rehearsing this sequence and filming it in Italy, and at one point, they each had 32 horses running at the same time. The supporting cast includes Sofia Black-D'Elia, Ayelet Zurer, Moises Arias and Pilou Asbæk. Paramount has set an August 12 release date for the remake, where it will face some stiff competition.
Ben-Hur will be going up against another highly-anticipated remake, Disney's Pete's Dragon, along with Sony's R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party and Universal's action-thriller Spectral. In case you missed them yesterday, you can also check out the first two photos below this new trailer and poster. Are you looking forward to a new version of Ben-Hur?