Paramount Joins MGM On ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

Paramount Joins MGM On 'Ben-Hur' Remake

Having already worked together on the forthcoming “Hercules,” Paramount and MGM look ready to join forces on another famous character.

Sources tell Variety Paramount will co-produce and distribute MGM’s upcoming remake of “Ben-Hur.”

Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) is directing the project from a script by Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave” writer John Ridley and Keith Clarke, who sold the original spec to MGM.

Paramount and MGM had no comment.

The film is based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” and follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him.

In addition to “Ben-Hur” and the upcoming “Hercules” starring Dwayne Johnson, MGM and Paramount are also co-producing the sequel to “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which opens Christmas Day.

MGM and Paramount previously teamed up on the release of “GI Joe: Retaliation” and “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

Sean Daniel and Joni Levin will produce the new “Ben-Hur” with Clarke and Jason Brown exec producing.

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  1. Pat Caleb says:

    I am an aspiring screenwriter and my first adaptation is THE THREE WISEMEN from the Ben-Hur novel. Give me some feedback on this concept. It opens as an Arabian Night thriller and the mysterious question on oll three wisemens minds is WHY are we meeting in the Arabian Desert. Scene right out of Alladin movie. I love it, this first scene. On the way to the Arabian Desert one wisman encounters a group of Arabs headed for Mecca to worship all the Gods there. A great scene of beautiful dancing women and great swords and knives of the men.

  2. Jeff Thomas says:

    This is NEVER going to better the 1959 movie. If it does, then It will be nothing short of being miracleous .

  3. Wayne Nobles says:

    Creativity has been lacking in Hollywood for some time now. Generating CGI by some geek (excluding the originator GL of course) in a dark room in La Jolla does not take the place of the true American Genius of Film Making. That takes place between the ears of some “kid” with an idea that just won’t go away. We just need to find him or her. I have to believe we still have the creative capability to produce the best films in the world.

  4. Ken Kramer says:

    I recently had a Nightmare and low and behold now it’s a reality! With today
    audience I can’t wait to miss it! Let me guess starring Arnold

  5. PETER says:

    Angelo Maggio, so funny! HAHAHAHAHA!

  6. PETER says:

    Well, yes, Heston and Steven Boyd were very good casting. And Martha Scott as Heston’s mom again. But, come on, what if they cast Ben Hur and Marsala very well? What about Channing Tatum as Ben Hur. Hahahaha! But how about a muscular Mike Fassbender as Marsala and Chris Bale as Ben Hur. Or Superman, Henry Cavill as Ben Hur? Or Chris Hemsworth as Ben Hur and dark, handsome Henry Cavill as Marsala. Yes, that would work. What do you think? Rock Hudson was suppose to play Ben Hur instead of Heston but decided to do A FAREWELL TO ARMS with Selznick and Jennifer Jones playing Katherine.

  7. While I liked Wanted very much, could not stand the vampire hunter story. As for making a re-make. So what, the Heston version of Ben Hur I do believe was a re-make. Has been done since the beginning of Hollywood. Old news.

  8. Ganieda says:

    Is this a joke?? I honestly thought this was a parody story…but no, it seems to be real. WHY on earth would anyone remake a classic like “Ben-Hur,” which people still truly enjoy? It’s not dated; the effects are still fantastic. And I’m only in my early 30s, so it’s not that I don’t want to let go of the “old days” (LOL, whatever those are…) — we grew up with this movie, too, and don’t want to see a remake!

  9. tamagura says:

    STOP THE MADNESS! Why does Hollywood feel it has to remake classics? Have they not learned anything? The actors, today, cannot compare with the old days. There is no modern Charlton Heston, nor Stephen Boyd. (Can you truly imagine anyone else as Masala?) Modern technology and CGI do not make films any better. it did not work with Psycho nor War of the Worlds and it will not work with Ben Hur.

  10. Angelo Maggio says:

    Oh my God I cannot wait. This is going to be so good. Wow. William Wyler directs the Heston epic and now we get the guy from Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I may get in line right now before they even start filming.

  11. Jay D. Fields says:

    C. B DeMille of today’s filmmakers don’t get it. Enough!

  12. R.l. Procter says:

    I will stick with the silent Ben Hur and the Heston version…No need to see another

  13. PETER says:

    Thank you, Souixie, very nice.

  14. Siouxsie says:

    I was amazed by the silent movie version of Ben Hur, which was shown on TCM! The chariot race was real, no CGI then, the cinematography was stunning. I was blown away! After the movie they gave some history about that movie & the 1959 movie. The chariot race in the silent film was so fantastic, it was copied for the 1959 film! Of course there was some use of what few special effects were available in 1959, and their were more safety measures. WHY OH WHY WOULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND REMAKE BEN HUR??? It will be CGI’d to death, to the point where it will look like a video game. Yes the chariot race is the huge HUGE part of the film, but the poignant & tragic story of the Jewish people and then the arrival of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion must be handled by very good actors. I will stick with the silent version and the 1959 version. Didn’t like Heston’s politics, but how perfect was he in Ben Hur! Sad that he had Alzheimer’s. I lost my mom to that insidious disease, would not wish that on anyone. It affects your whole family as you watch your loved one slowly slip away. Step up Hollywood! Time for some big fundraisers for Alzheimer’s!

    • LOL says:

      Well said, Siouxsie. It’d be good for the studios to make movies about subjects and themes concerning real issues rather than superhero crap.

  15. PETER says:

    It wasn’t Billy Wilder, was it? William Wyler? Am I correct?

  16. JOE S HILL says:

    Good Luck trying to recapture the Glory and creativity,that once came from a used to be studio,who is
    barely holding its own today,through investor partnerships,and many,many administrations,that has
    mis-managed this once great studio,which is just a collection of corporate people in some offices!
    remaking “BEN-HUR”?-Hah!! the MGM of 1959 did a WAY better job,then the corporately owned MGM
    of 2014,that has to depend on other partners,just to do a movie,,and they still think that remakes will save their asses-what a laugh out loud,joke!! now they want to use Paramount as a partner? what about
    Sony,,arn’t THEY calling the shots? a very wasted,tiresome,and futile gesture-get a life MGM! i’m sure
    that Warner Bros. has one,especially since THEY own your entire Film history-“BEN-HUR” included!

  17. PETER says:

    But have all their past productions been huge flops?

  18. Doug Deaton says:

    Honestly, I am always very skeptical when remakes are in the works… I have yet to find anything wrong with the 1959 version, and find it hard to believe it could be done any better. Remember how many OSCARS it took home.. and the score was stunning!

    • Dan says:

      There IS nothing wrong with Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic. This is a blatant attempt to cash in on Biblical film fever in Hollywood.

      • Jason says:

        BTW, it’s William Wyler, not Billy Wilder. easy to confuse. Some movies shouldn’t and aren’t made into 2.0-There’s a very good reason for that. Great books aren’t ever re-written. Remember when someone wrote a sequel to GWTW? There’s a very good reason. Neither should great movies.

  19. Chelsea says:

    Sounds good, I love when movies studio come together.

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