Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gal Gadot Nixes "Ben-Hur" Gig & Wonder Woman Rumor

The Wrap reports that Gal Gadot's stint as Wonder Woman in the various Warner Bros/DC Entertainment flicks on the way--including a solo movie for 2017 has forced her to exit talks for the female lead in the new "Ben-Hur" film adaptation.

Gadot was eyed to play Esther in a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. The part was played in the older classic by Israeli actress .

Keith Clarke ("The Way Back") wrote the initial adapted script before John Ridley took over.

The story is based on the bestselling 1880 book by Civil War General Lew Wallace. The property was adapted for big screen once before as William Wyler's 1959 film starring Charlton Heston.Wallace's novel is in the public domain.

"Boardwalk Empire" and "American Hustle" cohort Jack Huston is playing the lead. The epic drama follows a falsely accused nobleman who survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his best friend who betrayed him.Toby Kebbell will play that best friend, turned villainous Messala--who was portrayed by Stephen Boyd in the cinema classic.

Morgan Freeman will play Ildarin, the man who teaches the slave Ben-Hur to become a champion-caliber chariot racer.

Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal is in talks to play Pontius Pilate in the film who is an important part in the story which includes a parallel storyline involving Jesus Christ.

MGM is said to be keen on Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") vision which explores the original story's themes of revenge and redemption. Paramount will co-distribute the remake

Sean Daniel and Joni Levin will produce the film.

Production begins in Europe early next year for a February 2016 release.

Speaking of the "Wonder Woman" solo movie a rumor from Bleeding Cool suggests that pic will be set in the 1920s, making it a prequel to Zack Snyder's upcoming superhero team-up film called "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice":

"I have been informed by those who have seen the greenlit treatment that the film will spends the first half on Paradise Island with warring Amazon factions vying for control. An arrival of a man on the island changes that status quo, as he asks the Amazons for help. Not necessarily Steve Trevor either…Because when Wonder Woman joins him on his return to the world of Man, we all discover that it is the 1920s. And the film will then show Diana exploring that world – a world where women have only just got the vote – from her… unique perspective."

They add that the sequel to this film would be set during World War II and that she wouldn’t reunite with the Justice League until a third movie.

Are they really gonna do all that time jumping with the Amazon warrior?

Forbes reports the studio has drawn up a list of possible directors including established filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight"), Mimi Leder ("Deep Impact"), Karyn Kusama ("Aeon Flux") and Julie Taymor ("Across the Universe")

Episodic TV directors such as Michelle MacLaren ("Game of Thrones") and  Tricia Brock ("The Walking Dead") are also in the mix.

It seems that Bigelow, Leder, Hardwicke and MacLaren are the top contenders for the gig, but  Bigelow is the least likely to take this on. She seems content doing her own projects working with her own people.

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