Before an illustrious line of Ben-Hurs — played by Ramon Novarro in 1925, Charlton Heston in 1959, and now Jack Huston in 2016 — graced the big screen, the character of Judah Ben-Hur was crafted in Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
The newest Ben-Hur film is about to hit theaters this week, and as early as 2014 MGM and Paramount promised the film's return to "Lew Wallace's epic novel focusing on the nature of faith." In a recent interview, director Timur Bekmambetov also invoked Wallace's novel when discussing his vision for Ben-Hur (2016).
Here are some fascinating and important hallmarks of Ben-Hur's history that are really worth knowing if you plan to see the new film: more >>
Spoiler Alert: Readers who have seen the 1959 film are already familiar with the plot lines revealed in this review.
When the first Ben-Hur trailer was released earlier this year, my concerns were the same as many other moviegoers and critics. It appeared heavy on action, short on story, and — aghast! — simply not a good film.
But after watching the movie in recent days, I have good news for fans of the classic story: Those early concerns were simply wrong. more >>
LOS ANGELES – "Ben-Hur" actress Nazanin Boniadi, who plays the leading lady in the Paramount Pictures and MGM reboot, says she is proud to be a part of a production that offers positive faith in trouble times like these.
"For me personally I'm an activist so I see a lot of turmoil and heartache in the world and tragedy. I think we've always had that throughout time but now I think more so, we need to have this message out there," Boniadi told The Christian Post at a recent screening.
"Ben-Hur" was executive produced by outspoken Hollywood Christian couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and although it's not overtly Christian, the new version of the motion picture is laced with the message of Christ. more >>
Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the last two installments to E.L. James' controversial Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, have just wrapped up a back-to-back filming. Following the success of the first film, which grossed more than $560 million against a $40 million budget and ranked as the No. 1 film worldwide, there's no doubt that the franchise has grown into a global phenomenon.
Jamie Dornan, the actor who plays the young business magnate Christian Grey, had recently dished out about the film's behind-the-scenes. Despite working on a huge hit, the star admitted it was more fun filming because the pressure was off; unlike the first movie which had the challenge of trying to set the right tone and mood.
Dornan also discussed how the energy had changed around the set, especially after Sam Taylor Johnson, who initially directed Grey, passed the torch to James Foley. While some things have changed, he said, it's still a lot of the same 200-strong crew, which allows them to enjoy filming a little bit more. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Jack Huston, who stars in Paramount Pictures and MGM's reboot of "Ben-Hur" as Judah Ben-Hur, maintains that every time he watches the film he takes something valuable away from it.
"That was very emotional actually. The actual act is very effective, the crucifixion that is followed by forgiveness, everyone was affected up there on that mountain," Huston told The Christian Post at a recent screening, about the final scene of the film where forgiveness is put to the test.
"Forgiveness is not thinking that you have to be in control of everything [but more] so being able to let things go," the actor continued. "To forgive someone means you have to be in control of them in a sense, so I think understanding other people and it not being all about you [helps]." more >>
Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman said that he remains an agnostic ahead of this week's release of his next film, faith-infused "Ben Hur," but said nonetheless that the movie offers virtues such as redemption, tolerance and love that inform humankind.
Freeman admitted in an interview with AFP in Los Angeles that he is still an agnostic, but remains deeply interested in religion. Beside owning a library of religious texts at home, including the Quran and several Bibles, Freeman has also taken part in several documentary series about faith, including National Geographic's recent "The Story of God" project.
The 79-year-old actor, who famously played the role of God in the 2003 comedy "Bruce Almighty," is set to play a Nubian sheik in the upcoming "Ben-Hur" remake, which tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a Roman prince falsely accused of treason, who is exiled and becomes a slave, before encountering Jesus Christ and being changed by his example. more >>