Are you ready for some chariot carnage? Hitting cinemas this summer is the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s classic novel, Ben-Hur. This latest iteration comes from the vision of Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) and stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, and Toby Kebbell, among others. So how does it look? Not bad.
There’s certainly an abundance of CGI on display, although that’s par for the course these days, especially when it comes to Bekmambetov. Morgan Freeman in dreadlocks is an interesting sight and the leads seem capable. The real question is whether or not audiences are ready for yet another version of this tale? This marks 6th adaptation of the novel to my knowledge. Two different versions were crafted in the silent era (1907 & 1925, respectively), an animated version was made in 2003, and 2010 saw it turned into a miniseries. The most known and loved iteration is, of course, 1959 mega-budget epic starring Charlton Heston. Can Ben-Hur connect with audiences again in 2016? I guess we’ll find out soon enough…
Ben-Hur is slated to arrive in theaters on August 12th, courtesy of MGM & Paramount. Based on the novel by Lew Wallace, it is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, from a screenplay by Keith R. Clark and John Ridley. It stars Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Rodrigo Santoro, Sofia Black D’Elia, Ayelet Zurer, Moises Arias, Pilou Asbaeck, and James Cosmo.
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