Published On: Wed, Sep 17th, 2014

‘Boardwalk Empire’ star Jack Huston cast as lead in ‘Ben-Hur’ remake

Just days after initial casting, MGM and Paramount have announced they cast the title role in the upcoming Ben-Hur make. Jack Huston, most famous for his role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, will play the character made famous by Charlton Heston.

Jack Huston as Richard Harrow on 'Boardwalk Empire'

Jack Huston as Richard Harrow on ‘Boardwalk Empire’

“MGM and Paramount still have to find their Messala, Ben-Hur’s former close friend-turned-bitter rival. Actors have been circling both parts, and it looked for a while there like Huston might have played the latter. He read for that role, but (Timur) Bekmambetov decided instead he had the sympathetic manner and grit to play the title role,” Deadline reports.

Huston played Richard Harrow, the masked assassin on Boardwalk and now moves to big opportunites in film.

“Huston closed a deal to play Wickham in the Burr Steers-directed adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, alongside Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote. Huston is wrapping the George Tillman-directed Fox 2000 adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride for Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey. He also scored in a West End production of Strangers On A Train and last year in American Hustle,” the Sept. 16 Deadline article recounted.

Morgan Freeman will play Ben-Hur’s mentor, Ildarin, with more casting news likely since production will begin soon.

The new Ben-Hur is set to arrive in theaters on February 26, 2016.

Deadline provided this new synopsis of the remake:

This version of Ben-Hur plays up the parallel storyline of Jesus Christ, but the main drama is the blood feud between Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, who grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude and mocks Judah and his religion. When a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates the accident so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life. Judah vows revenge, culminating in the famed chariot races.

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- 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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  1. Toby Kebbell joins ‘Ben-Hur’ remake as the villain, Messala - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Empire star Jack Huston will play the lead and Freeman has been added as Ben-Hur’s mentor named […]

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