×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MGM’s ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake Draws Timur Bekmambetov

Project focuses on formative years of Judah Ben-Hur

Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) is in negotiations direct MGM’s reboot of “Ben-Hur,” the studio’s 1959 epic starring Charlton Heston.

Sean Daniel and Joni Levin are producing the the remake. Jason Brown will exec produce with screenwriter Keith Clarke.

The project began taking shape earlier this year when MGM acquired Clarke’s script, adapted from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” That story focuses on the years prior to those portrayed the 1959 film, centering on the characters  Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem, and his childhood friend Messala, who returns home as a commanding officer of the Roman legions and betrays the Ben-Hur family.

The novel is in the public domain. The 1959 movie was set in ancient Rome, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist and starred Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins and Hugh Griffith. It won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The 1925 movie version of “Ben-Hur,” starring Roman Novarro and Francis X. Bushman, was also a major success.

Since it emerged two years from a prepackaged bankruptcy, MGM’s film business has been focused on co-financing its James Bond and Hobbit franchises and projects such as ““21 Jump Street” and mining its library for remakes, including “Carrie,” “Robocop” and “Death Wish.”

Bekmambetov last directed “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

The negotiations were first reported by the Deadline.com site.

More Film

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content