ben hur remake

The chariot race sequence in William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur took a year to plan. The massive sequence, which was shot in five weeks, involved 7,000 extras and a set that cost $1 million to build. All that hard work paid off, because that sequence remains just as thrilling today as it probably was back in 1959.

It’s inevitable the new adaptation of Ben-Hur will face comparisons to Wyler’s film, especially in regards to how the new chariot race holds up to the 1959 film’s classic set piece. Below, director Timur Bekmambetov tells us about the planning and work that went into shooting the sequence.

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morgan freeman

“Action star” probably isn’t the first thing you think of when Judah Ben-Hur’s name comes to mind. He doesn’t believe in killing. Compassion is Ben-Hur’s true weapon, and that’s why he’s such a heroic character, especially in William Wyler‘s 1959 film.

A few weeks ago we got our first look at the upcoming reimagining of the film, which is directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted). And although the trailer has plenty of excitement, according to the director, this version will not turn Judah Ben-Hur into a more modern action hero.

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ben hur remake

Jack Huston has been on a star on the rise for the past few years now. After Boardwalk Empire and his strong supporting performances in Not Fade Away and Kill Your Darlings, he seemed destined to one day headline a big studio picture. A year and a half ago the actor landed the lead role in Timur Bekmambetov‘s remake of Ben-Hur, and this could be his big break.

With Bekmambetov’s film opening this summer, we now have our first look at Ben-Hur.

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where's waldo movie

There are some filmmakers who deserve the benefit of the doubt no matter what absurd projects they add to their plates. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are on that list. Here are two guys with strong instincts for comedy and storytelling, whose misfires at least have the benefit of being interesting rather than bad. They continuously surround themselves with talented people and aren’t afraid to push themselves into fresh new territory. And yes, This Is the End is pretty much a masterpiece.

So I grit my teeth and keep this in mind when I read about this duo attaching themselves to the long-gestating Where’s Waldo movie, which just sounds like a terrible idea. A literally plotless children’s book series does not seem like a strong foundation for a feature film, but hey, I trust these guys.

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Meg Director

An adaptation of Meg (short for “megalodon”) has been in the works for almost 20 years. Back in 2007, director Jan de Bont (Speed) was attached to the a version produced by Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak), but after two and a half years of production and millions of dollars spent, New Line pulled the plug.

The killer shark movie has seen signs of life over the years. Eli Roth (Knock Knock) recently signed on to direct Meg, but after being attached for less than a year, he’s dropped out. Now, the director of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Cool RunningsJon Turteltaub, is Roth’s potential replacement.

Learn more about Meg below.

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death wish remake

A remake of the 1974 classic Death Wish has been in the works for quite some time now, but development has seen its fair share of speed bumps. The film was originally a passion project for director Joe Carnahan, who wanted Frank Grillo to star, but he dropped out once the studio insisted on casting Bruce Willis. Then Gerardo Naranjo stepped in to direct, but nothing came of that.

Now, two new filmmakers are attached to the project and this thing suddenly has my undivided attention all over again. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado may not be household names, but this duo has been on the rise and their track record suggests that they’re a perfect match for a new Death Wish.

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weitz next project

Chris Weitz has had a varied career. Weitz directed The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Golden Compass and co-directed About a Boy and American Pie with his brother, Paul Weitz (Being Flynn). Chris Weitz’s career is a little all over the map, but he’s clearly comfortable with drama, as exhibited by About a Boy and his last feature, A Better Life.

For his next directorial effort, he might depict the hunt for Adolf Eichmann. Learn more about the project below.

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Michael B Jordan Knocked Out

Michael B. Jordan has already revived one flagging franchise with Creed, and now MGM’s turning to him to bring another old property back to life. He’s set to lead a remake of the classic heist thriller The Thomas Crown Affair, which was originally released in 1968 and remade in 1999. And yes, this means Jordan is this generation’s Steve McQueen, or at least its Pierce Brosnan.  Read More »

creed review

A Rocky spinoff about Apollo Creed’s son may have sounded like a terrible idea on paper, but when Creed actually opened it was an unqualified success. Audiences loved it — it’s made $105 million so far in the U.S. and counting — and critics adored it. It made a creaky old franchise feel fresh again, without undoing all the earlier installments. Heck, it even won Sylvester Stallone a Golden Globe last night.

All of which is to say a Creed sequel was only a question of when, not if, and now we have our answer. MGM is reportedly eyeing a November 2017 release date for the film, putting it about two years after Creed‘s release. That’s the good news. The bad news is what this might mean for director Ryan Coogler‘s involvement.  Read More »

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Michael B Jordan Knocked Out

In order to star in boxing movies like Creed, actors like Michael B. Jordan have to train with real boxers. Not only does it get the actors in the right shape, but it helps them appear as if they could be real boxers and aren’t just pretending. And when it comes to the Rocky movies, there’s something else that makes the actors really feel like they’re in the ring.

While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, co-star Sylvester Stallone explained that in the Rocky films, there is a tradition of shooting what is called a “dead man walking scene” where the actor in the ring actually gets punched in the face by a real pro fighter. And that tradition ended with Michael B. Jordan knocked out on the set of Creed. Read More »