Jack Huston to Lead Ben-Hur Remake

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Jack Huston has been cast as Ben-Hur in MGM and Paramount’s upcoming remake.

It was around a month ago we were reporting that Tom Hiddleston (best known for playing Loki in Marvel’s Avengers and Thor movies) was being chased to play the lead, but it looks like he’ll be starring alongside a giant gorilla instead.

Deadline is reporting that the studios have chosen Huston to take on the highly coveted lead role, one that will certainly push him further into the spotlight after he impressed as Richard Harrow on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is at the helm here, directing a version that is said to be closer to the 1880 novel than the 1959 Charlton Heston-starring epic. The 1959 film, itself a remake of the 1925 silent film, took home 11 Oscars, a record matched by Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lew Wallace’s original novel, tells of the titular nobleman’s journey of vengeance after he is betrayed and sold into slavery. It’s an epic story, culminating in our character’s face-off against his enemy in well known chariot races.

Huston will be joining Morgan Freeman, who has been cast as Ildarin, the sheikh who teaches Ben-Hur to become a champion chariot racer.

The Ben-Hur remake, with a Keith Clarke (The Way Back) screenplay rewritten by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), is set for a U.S. release on February 26, 2016.

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