Paramount Pictures and MGM are gearing up to release the reboot of "Ben-Hur" in August, and in a new faith trailer, viewers are given a glimpse into the impact Jesus Christ made on the fictional character Ben-Hur while an exclusive song by for King & Country plays in the background.
"Ben-Hur" is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his own adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebell), who is a Roman army officer. He was removed from his position and was separated from his family and Esther (Nazanin Boniadi), the woman he loves, as he was exiled to become a slave.
But after years of traveling on sea and a sudden shipwreck, Ben Hur encountered Ilderim (Morgan Freeman), who later on becomes his mentor. He tells Ben Hur to take revenge against his brother through a chariot race instead of killing him directly. He then prepares him for the monumental race, seen on the trailer, which is going to be a deadly one.
The trailer begins with the scripture found in Jeremiah 40:4 that states, "Now, behold, I release you today from the chains on your hands." Throughout the faith trailer there are a few appearance of Jesus who inspires Ben Hur to love, not hate. Ben Hur is inspired by the kindness Jesus showed him when no one else would. His divine encounters with the Savior of the world transforms his life as he is introduced to grace and mercy.
See exclusive trailer below:
Ben-Hur was executive produced by Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley and Jason F. Brown. Produced by Sean Daniel, p.g.a., Joni Levin, p.g.a., and Duncan Henderson p.g.a. directed by Timur Bekmambetov with a screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley.
When director Timur Bekmambetov was first approached to direct a re-vamp of one of cinema's most beloved films, he admits he was hesitant.
"The 1959 Ben-Hur is not just a film, it's a phenomenon that greatly affected the culture of the 20th century," Bekmambetov explained in a statement given to The Christian Post. "That's why when I was offered to direct its reincarnation, my initial thought was 'absolutely not.' Luckily producer Sean Daniel persuaded me to read the script, which turned out to be this incredibly meaningful story, 2 impressing with not just sensational action but with line-up of amazing life-like characters and deep thinking. Even though the setting and the circumstances are thousands of years ago, the characters' emotions and actions are relatable and have a modern, universal resonance."
Writer John Ridley maintained that he had similar reservations while working on the script. "The most ardent fans of the 1959 film might find it blasphemous to revisit it in any form, but they forget these characters existed 80 years prior. People only tend to remember Charlton Heston and the chariot race, but Judah Ben-Hur is such a rich, classic character. He's a wronged man seeking revenge and redemption. Compelling characters like Ben Hur and Messala are the reason we can return to these stories again and again, so I wanted to make the personal conflict between these former friends just as tense and memorable as the climactic chariot race," he added.
"The emotional themes of the film, vengeance vs. forgiveness, are timeless. The conflicts the characters experience are as relatable today as they were in Roman times or 1880, when Lew Wallace wrote the novel," explains producer Daniel. "It's human nature, and that doesn't change."
Bekmambetov highlights that the film is very valuable becasue in many ways we still live in the Roman Empire in this day and age. "We still live with its values. Power, greed and success rule the world, people try to achieve everything in harsh competition, and only few realize that true human values are collaboration and forgiveness," he concluded.
"Ben-Hur" will hit theaters on Aug. 12 internationally, and Aug. 19 in the U.S. It will be released in regular 2D, 3D and Digital 3D. For more information visit ShareBenHur.com.