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Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

‘Ben-Hur’ remake prevented from filming at Circus Maximus

While the chariots will certainly be racing by in the new Ben-Hur film, they will note be re-enacting events in the actual Circus Maximus as Italy’s archeological officials have blocked filming at the famous arena.

Jack Huston will play Judah Ben-Hur, the role immortalized by Charlton Heston, in a new version by director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter).

Jack Huston as Richard Harrow on 'Boardwalk Empire'

Jack Huston as Richard Harrow on ‘Boardwalk Empire’

The Guardian summarizes how the new Hollywood film will have to reproduce the ancient site as “Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, lamented the decision by Italy’s national cultural authorities to stop the proposed filming in Circus Maximus, which had been approved by local officials. He said it represented a missed opportunity.”

“The aim of the city administration isn’t so much to raise revenue in exchange for the use of public space, but to give back to Rome the role of being a big international set, which is in our history and our tradition,” said the mayor’s office.

Recent events (a Rolling Stone concert and political rally in 2014) have “prompted debate about the fragility of Rome’s archeological treasures and whether they ought to be used for modern entertainment,” the Guardian article noted.

Production is set to begin at a special stage built at Rome’s Cinecitta studios.

Huston will be joined by Morgan Freeman, who will play the mentor Ilderim and Toby Kebbell as Messala, Ben-Hur’s main rival.

Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer, Nazanin Boniadi, Moises Arias, Pilou Asbæk and Sofia Black-D’Elia also star.

Ben -Hur arrives in theaters next year, February 26, 2016.

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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