Long before Titanic managed to claim 11 nods from the Academy and Maximus decreased the Roman population dramatically, there was another man that managed both at the same time. He is none other than our favourite NRA spokesperson Charlton Heston, who battled other gladiators while Russell Crowe was still in diapers. Well, the remake machine has spoken and Rome better polish their chariots as Ben-Hur will be fighting for his freedom once again.
MGM, making the most of their post-bankruptcy revival, are planning to remake the Lew Wallace novel that the original Ben-Hur was also based on, with the script being penned by Keith Clarke. If you haven’t ever seen the 1959 Charlton Heston powerhouse film, then you are either not as ancient as I am or you’ve been living under a rock for most of your life. Judah Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince who is sold as a slave, who vows revenge against the man that had his prosecuted.
As a kid, hardly a Christmas season would go by without SABC proudly announcing that they’ve dusted off the archives to give us the latest films from four decades before we were born. I remember enjoying the film though, at least enough to warrant watching it on several occasions but this was also years before Ridley Scott would bring his Gladiator to live which, I have to say, parallels the story of Ben-Hur quite a lot.
I have to admit, this is a strange choice for a remake. It will inevitably be compared to both the original film and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator so the bar has been set ridiculously high. I guess this means Jack Black won’t be in the running as Mr. Hur?