‘Ben-Hur’ Remake in Development at MGM Studios

Keith R. Clarke wrote the spec screenplay based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ’.

Ben-Hur remake is in development at MGM Studios
Ben-Hur remake is in development at MGM Studios
After nearly folding due to bankruptcy just a few years ago, MGM Studios is back and better than ever, after the success of Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The studio is gearing up to take on what may be their most ambitious project yet, a remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur.

The studio has acquired a spec screenplay by Keith R. Clarke (The Way Back), which is much more faithful to the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace. While director William Wyler's Ben-Hur focused on the feud between Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and Messalla (Stephen Boyd), this film will explore the characters' formative years, growing up as best friends before the Roman Empire conquered Jerusalem.

This script also features Jesus Christ, who encounters Ben-Hur and whose tale is told in parallel to the title character. Ben-Hur begins to believe that Christ is the Messiah, before the savior is killed by Pontius Pilate.

Sean Daniel and Joni Levin are attached to produce. No production schedule has been released.

Ben-Hur was released November 18th, 1959 and stars Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, Sam Jaffe. The film is directed by William Wyler.

Sources: Deadline

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Comments (23)

  1. Saimalhr2000

    If they could reproduce the same movie in 3D then it would have worth otherwise no need to remake as it is still comparable to modern era without out remaking.

    2 years agoby @saimalhr2000Flag

  2. Ivor Llewellyn-jones

    Although sadly lacking in historical continuity, even the very introduction was incorrecr "...in the 7th year of the reign of Augustus Caesar" It was the 27th year! The 1959 Ben Hur CANNOT be surpassed, and should never be subject of a re-make. The fairly recent made for tv version, directed by William Wyler's son, was so cheesey and bad it was embarrassing. The chariot race was an insult.
    If MGM want to make money on Ben Hur, don't do a remake...film it in 3D. That would be a box office smash, and a dvd sell-out.
    They did it with Titanic, why not the greatest film ever made?

    2 years agoby @Ivor-Llewellyn-jonesFlag

  3. JonSpidey07

    doooooooohhhhhhhhh, ARE THEY F*CKING SERIOUS?!
    why in the hell are they remaking this classic, timeless epic? you don't mess around with something like that
    that's like remaking Gone With The Wind, The Lion King, Kingdom Hearts etc.
    can't H-Wood executives just leave our most beloved films alone?

    2 years agoby @jonspidey07Flag

  4. the Narrator

    Smart man, @bawnian-dexeus. That scene had some great tracking shots and blocking for the day. The tension must have been killer for the then-present audience.

    Fair enough, @ejk1. I'll eat my shorts if they stick to their plan and focus ONLY on his youth, making this a companion piece. If not, I'll be more concerned about what the studios may remake next.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  5. ejk1

    @narrator I'm willing to at least wait and see, and then decide if I should go into my usual tirade against remakes.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  6. the Narrator

    @ejk1, @nburgmei - Understood, gentleman. However, as you said, that's a big if, and one that isn't looking likely. My bet is that they'll focus on Ben Hur's young adult years more than the original, but it'll still focus on being a remake of Ben Hur - not dissimilar to A Nightmare on Elm Street's remake.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  7. Nburgmei

    @narrator I'm pretty sure it never stops as long as there is money to be made.

    @ejk1 I tend to agree. I would like to think they'll put something this big in a pair of capable hands, but that might be giving them too much credit.

    2 years agoby @nburgmeiFlag

  8. ejk1

    @narrator If they follow through with what the article says, then I don't see it as a remake as much as a companion piece. Granted, that is a huge "if."

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  9. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @narrator Today my professor in class said that all moviegoers are required to see the chariot race

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  10. the Narrator

    @nburgmei True, but they'll call it Ben Hur all the same. Any failing in this "not-so-remake, yet remake" will effect the original immensely in the eyes of the younger generations. If it fails, which is likely, it'll mar the name of this epic. While it's not one of my holy grail's of film, it's still a landmark picture and if they start remaking films like Ben Hur and giving sequels to films like Raging Bull, where does it stop? After a remake of Citizen Kane and a reboot of all of Kubrick's and Hithc*ck's films?

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  11. Ghostman

    Fuuck no.

    2 years agoby @ghostmanFlag

  12. Nburgmei

    In their defense, the way it's explained doesn't make it sound like an actual remake.

    2 years agoby @nburgmeiFlag

  13. Jeffrey Patrick

    No. Just... no.

    2 years agoby @jeffrey-patrickFlag

  14. CelluloidDreams


    2 years agoby @2movieguysFlag

  15. Writer220

    hell no

    2 years agoby @writer220Flag

  16. skywise


    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  17. Mark Goldenballs Atkinson

    If this goes ahead they will be back in bankruptcy

    2 years agoby @mark-goldenballs-atkinsonFlag

  18. The Knight Has Risen


    2 years agoby @thehost91Flag

  19. the Narrator

    F*ck yourselves in the ass and just remake everything, why don't ya'?

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  20. Dan


    2 years agoby @dan1Flag

  21. MovieManiac


    2 years agoby @moviemaniac66Flag

  22. Mr.K

    O______________O DID THEY LOST THEIR F*CKING MINDS?!?!?

    2 years agoby @mr-kFlag

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