Having recently wrapped “Fantastic Four,” in which he plays the evil Doctor Doom, Toby Kebbell may have found another bad boy role.
Sources tell Variety Toby Kebbell is in early talks to play Messala in MGM and Paramount’s remake of “Ben-Hur.”
Jack Huston was recently tapped to play Judah Ben-Hur with Timur Bekmambetov set to direct.
The script was written by Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave” scribe John Ridley and Keith Clarke, who sold the original spec to MGM.
Based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” the epic drama follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him. Kebbell will play that best friend, who was portrayed by Stephen Boyd in the 1959 classic.
The pic arrives in theaters Feb. 26, 2016.
“Ben-Hur” joins the long list of Hollywood’s recent interest in biblical stories that have either bowed or are set to bow in the next couple of years. Paramount had already seen success from this genre with “Noah,” Darren Aronofsky’s take on the Noah’s Arc story starring Russell Crowe.
“Noah” grossed $359 million worldwide, including more than $100 million domestically.
As for Kebbell, the British actor has become a go-to antagonist in Hollywood. Besides playing Doctor Doom in Fox’s upcoming reboot of “Fantastic Four,” Kebbell was recently seen as playing Koba, the rival to Caesar, in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
He also recently wrapped production on Legendary’s “Warcraft.”
Kebbell is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.