Biblical epics have biblically bad reputations. The Ten Commandments, coming it at just under four hours, featured extensive use of Charlton Heston’s nipples/the passive voice, while the bloodthirsty Passion of The Christ included some old-school Anti-Semitism but absolutely zero: Neosporin. But now Jack Huston, aka Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire, has been (rumored to be, according to THR) cast in the remake of Ben-Hur, one of the better biblical epics, set to be directed by Wanted‘s Timur Bekmambetov.
Huston, who previously starred in American Hustle and Boardwalk Empire, is expected to play the lead role in Ben-Hur. Huston will be joining Morgan Freeman, fresh off his success in Dolphin Tale 2, and Bekmambetov, who directed the masterpiece Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. John Ridley, the screenplay writer behind 12 Years: A Slave, will write the script here. It’s a perfect match, given that both movies closely follow the award-winning “painful and long” formula.
At just under a zillion hours, Ben-Hur is one of the most successful films and biblical epics of all time. In 1959, it won 11 out of 12 Academy Awards for which it was nominated. The movie became famous for both the amount it spent on costumes and the amount it pulled at the box office, making it one of the earliest and biggest blockbusters. People unfamiliar with the full-length movie may remember the famous scene where Judah drives a chariot. Since it’s directed by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 2016’s version will likely include Jack Huston in a unitard driving a Segway.
Ben-Hur is scheduled to be released February 16, 2016.