Watch: First Trailer for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

The first trailer for MGM-Paramount’s “Ben-Hur” remake does not stint on the chariot-racing — six decades after the 1959 Charlton Heston movie dazzled audiences with its memorable nine-minute sequence.

The trailer shows Jack Huston as the titular Jewish prince betrayed into slavery by his adapted brother Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. The story centers on Ben-Hur wreaking vengeance upon Messala through a race with plenty of chariots, horses and riders soaring through the air and colliding with one another.

A dreadlocked Morgan Freeman plays a sheikh who takes Ben-Hur under his wing after he escapes from years of slavery.

“Remember — first to finish,” Freeman says. “Last to die,” Huston replies.

Mark Burnett, Sean Daniel and Joni Levin are producing the film. “Wanted” director Timur Bekmambetov is directing from a screenplay originally written by Keith Clarke, with revisions by “12 Years a Slave” writer John Ridley.

The project began taking shape in 2013 when MGM acquired Clarke’s script, an adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” which is now in the public domain.

MGM and Paramount decided last year to delay the release this year from Feb. 26 to Aug. 12.

The 1959 movie, which was set in ancient Rome, was directed by William Wyler and produced by Sam Zimbalist. It starred Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins and Hugh Griffith, and won 11 Oscars, including best picture.

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  1. Beth CP says:

    This remake may have all the slick trappings that CGI affords filmmakers today but that’s no guarantee that it will be successful. If the actors come across as truly believing in the story their characters are telling they may have a chance of selling the film despite the glossy settings and amped up theatrics that look to be dressing out this production. I don’t want to say it will flop but then again, when you have the chutzpah to tackle an iconic film that won 11 Oscars, I’d say you better be prepared for just that possibility.

    In any event I wish the production team and cast all the best.

  2. Bobbi says:

    As long as there aren’t any space ships, laser fights or massive explosions, then, I guess we’ll see, huh? If there’s a three headed monster, or the chariot race includes some paranormal, alien force, then I’ll have my doubts – again. There’s something to be said about the slick movies that use to be…when did it become the norm, that contemporary dialogue and special effects were more important than the overall theme…especially with remaking a movie?

  3. Kurt says:

    Another horrible remake, that will rightfully flop.

  4. In The Know says:

    This whole thing couldn’t be more wrong… schlock producers, a mismatched director, and the actors couldn’t be more miscast if they were doing it intentionally. Shame. I really lik(ED) Jack Huston at one point. Who’s guiding his career? Train wreck. Sell your soul the the studio that will give you your 1st lead. Bummer.

    What is this town coming to?! I guess integrity and a soul left this business many moons ago. Are we having fun yet??????

  5. Ken says:

    Well, this in all likelihood won’t make me forget the William Wyler classic, but it looks intriguing. This tale is extremely plot-driven…and if the running time is less than 3 hours, it’ll wind up being condensed crap like EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS. Looking forward to the reviews later this year.

  6. Dusntan says:

    Using contemporary dialogue “Are we having fun yet, brother?” is pathetic and lazy screenwriting. But I’d expect nothing less from the schlock producer of “The Apprentice” and “Survivor.”


  7. Terrible Stuff says:

    What crap!!!

  8. Je Vizzusi says:

    “ARE WE HAVING FUN NOW BROTHER? Let me answer, hell no! CGI god almighty.. too flashy, too stark in contrast, too digital and never remake a remake classic equals thumbs down.@JEV1A

  9. Fred Mertz says:

    The guy playing Messala looks like he walked out of an episode of “Scandal.” That haircut of his is just…. wrong.

    • Je Vizzusi says:

      I dont understand the cinematic school of make-up and hair today. These times were hideas, filthy and unhealthy. Bathing was a option. Bad hair, rotting teeth, terrible rags for clothes. Producers in Hollywood have forever glossed over historic facts in place of creating clean super heroes especially in religious blockbusters. @JEV1A

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