Saturday, 27 September 2014

Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

Though it looked for a while as if Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) would be the new Ben-Hur, the man now looking to fill a role once assayed by Charlton Heston is Boardwalk Empire's Jack Huston.





Taken once again from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, he mocks our hero for his religion, and, after an accident he pins on his friend, has him sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (at least in the 1959 Heston film) in the iconic chariot race.

Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises) is already aboard to play Ildarin, the man who teaches Ben-Hur how to be a master at the reins for the races. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is the director chosen by MGM and Paramount Pictures to wrangle the new take to the screen, working from a script that was most recently re-written by 12 Years A Slave's (2013) John Ridley.

Huston, who won acclaim for his role as Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire, has been scoring plenty of work recently. He's part of the cast for upcoming Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) adaptation The Longest Ride, which arrives on 10 April next year, and he's also playing Mr. Wickham in Burr Steers' (Charlie St. Cloud) Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. He's also been rumoured to play Marvel's Doctor Strange, but this epic project might mean he is out of the running there. Only time, and scheduling, will tell.

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