MGM Adapting 'Ben-Hur' (Not in Space)
In today's remake news: MGM is remaking Ben-Hur. Okay?
Though the studio made the original 1959 adaptation that stuck Charlton Heston in the nightmare of warfare without guns, Deadline explains that this remake will not simply be a rehashing of that film. As they describe it, he spec script bought from Keith Clarke hews closer to the book--which MGM particularly likes since they don't actually own the rights to their Heston film anymore, having sold those to Ted Turner in the '80s, back when remaking such a revered, classic epic seemed silly. What's said to be one of the more significant changes is that now Jesus pops up a lot more often, expanding what was merely a crowd-pleasing Christ cameo in the original.
Sadly, no one at MGM thought to hitch this chariot to the ...in space! thing that's apparently happening now, but the film does fit neatly within the fellow trend of using the Bible as the public domain film treatment it was always intended to be. Warner Bros. is working on a Brad Pitt-starring film about Christ-killer Pontius Pilate, Darren Aronofsky is doing the tale of Noah, Spielberg and Ridley Scott are separately developing Moses epics, and let us not forget that Nicolas Cage will be providing his own Christianity course in getting LEFT BEHIND. What a great time to be a Christian junior high religion teacher looking for something to show in place of teaching.