Ben-Hur trailer

Some of Toby Kebbell‘s most prominent roles are the ones where he’s hidden behind CG and mo-cap magic: Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four, and most recently Durotan in Warcraft. But he’ll show his face for real later this summer in Timur Bekmambetov‘s re-adaptation of Ben-Hur, where he plays the duplicitous Messala to Jack Huston‘s Judah Ben-Hur.

If you’ve seen the William Wyler classic, you already know the story: Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who’s forced into slavery thanks to the betrayal of his best friend, Roman officer Messala. Years later, Ben-Hur returns seeking revenge via chariot race. A new Ben-Hur trailer plays up the tragedy of Ben-Hur’s ordeal, while a new Ben-Hur featurette reveals the practical stunt work from the climactic chariot race sequence. Watch ’em both below.  Read More »

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CinemaCon

We’re back in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater exhibitors. As you probably know by now, theater owners from around the nation gather to, among other things, watch presentations from all of the major movie studios previewing their film slates for the upcoming year and beyond. The opening night presentation was Paramount Pictures, which came to Vegas to promote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Ben-Hur, the first teaser trailer for the Ring franchise film Rings, the first footage from Tom Cruise’s sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Robert Zemeckis’ spy thriller Allied, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and a very early look at Baywatch starring The Rock and Zac Efron.

But the two biggest surprises involved Prisoners/Sicario/Blade Runner 2 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Story Of Your Life and the shocking lack of any Star Trek Beyond preview despite having Simon Pegg and JJ Abrams in town and on stage for an award celebration. The new Villeneuve film seems like a smart science fiction film, think Contact meets Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Hit the jump to watch a video blog reaction talking about all the clips shown at the presentation.
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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 trailer

Jack Huston kicked off 2016 as one of the better parts of the fairly terrible Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, stealing scene after scene from ostensible male lead Sam Riley. Now his next big release of 2016 puts him front and center, in the iconic role of Judah Ben-Hur.

The main beats of Timur Bekmambetov‘s Ben-Hur should seem familiar to anyone who’s seen the earlier film. Huston’s Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who’s betrayed by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell) and forced into slavery. He survives and returns to seek his revenge in the arena. Morgan Freeman plays the man who teaches Ben-Hur all about chariot racing. Nazanin Boniadi, Pilou Asbaek, and Rodrigo Santoro also star.  Read More »

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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Biggest Movie Sets

Nowadays, with the advent of realistic visual effects, most big movie sets are actually just digital extensions of much smaller practical sets and locations. However, in the earliest days of cinema, some of the biggest epics actually had to physically create massive sets. And if you’ve ever wondered just how big some of the most massive sets in cinema’s history have been, we have an infographic that takes a look at some of the biggest movie sets that we’ve ever seen on the big screen. Check out the list below! Read More »

Ben-Hur Female Lead Goes to ‘Homeland’ Actress

Ben-Hur Nazanin Boniadi

Timur Bekmambetov‘s Ben-Hur remake has a pretty good cast of guys lined up already, including Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal, Morgan Freeman, and Jack Huston in the title role. Now it may finally have found its female lead.

Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi has just received an offer to play Esther, the part Gal Gadot was up for before scheduling conflicts forced her out. Hit the jump for more on the Ben-Hur Nazanin Boniadi casting.  Read More »

Pedro Pascal Game of Thrones

Maybe the world doesn’t really need another Ben-Hur, but if it has to have one it may as well feature an intriguing cast. Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, and Morgan Freeman signed on for the Timur Bekmambetov-directed epic last month, and future Wonder Woman Gal Gadot nabbed the female lead yesterday.

As of today, the latest addition to the cast is Pedro Pascal, last seen battling the second strongest man in the world on Game of Thrones. Hit the jump for more details on the Pedro Pascal Ben-Hur casting.

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