Release date changes are always a cause for speculation, and while no specific reasons for this delay has been made, MGM and Paramount have confirmed that their “Ben-Hur” remake will be moved from February 26 to August 12, 2016. The change could be the result of a number of factors, from providing more time to work on special effects to realizing the potential blockbuster might play better in the summer movie season, though it could also indicate some trouble behind the scenes.
The remake is directed by “Wanted” filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov and has a screenplay by Keith Clarke, with revisions by Oscar winner and executive producer John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”). The cast includes rising star Jack Huston in the titular role opposite Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman, Nazanin Boniadi and Rodrigo Santoro. Mark Burnett, Sean Daniel and Joni Levin serve as producers, while Roma Downey is an Executive Producer.
While the character was famously portrayed by Charlton Heston in the 1959 classic, this version of the story is adapted from the 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” and takes place in the years before the events of that film. The story concerns the relationship between Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince, and Messala, his childhood friend who betrays him as the commander of a Roman legion.