Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is apparently in negotiations with MGM to remake Ben-Hur for the studio. It will be a new adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. Bekmambetov is a fun director, but It's hard to imagine him doing a movie like Ben-Hur because all of the other films that he has made have this cheesy, slightly low-quality kind of feel to them. A movie like Ben-Hur needs to be epic in every way. According to Deadline,
This film will tell the formative story of the characters as they grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Judah Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude. Messala mocks Judah and his religion and when a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates it so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life. Judah doesn’t die, and vows revenge on Messala which, like in the films, culminates in the famed chariot races. There is another way the script differs from the movie, in that it will tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, with whom Ben-Hur has several encounters which moves him to become a believer in the Messiah, and which culminates in Christ being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. Intertwined in all this is the lifelong struggle between Ben-Hur and Messala.
I love the 1959 Charlton Heston movie, and I think a new big screen adaptation could be amazing with the right director. The deal isn't set in stone yet for Bekmambetov, but the studio obviously wants him for the job.
What do you think about the possibility of Bekmambetov taking on Ben-Hur?